A heroic taxi operator from Kent Village in Bog Walk, St Catherine, recently drew his last breath at Flat Bridge in the parish, but not before he fought to save the five passengers who were travelling in his vehicle.
The bereaved family said, based on an autopsy, Dane Reid, 41, died of a heart attack on February 25. He will be laid to rest in his community on Sunday (March 24) after a funeral service scheduled to start at midday in Kent Village Foursquare Gospel Church.
Latoya Reid-Turner, sister of the deceased, told The Beacon that, based on reports she has received, had it not been for Mr Reid’s heroics, the car-load of people would have ended up in the deadly Rio Cobre that runs beneath Flat Bridge.
Mr Reid was no stranger to Flat Bridge, considering that he drove across it on numerous occasions daily while he operated on the route between Linstead and Spanish Town in St Catherine.
Things, however, took a turn for the worse on a fateful day last month.
Mr Reid’s sister explained: “I was told that, when my brother reached on the Flat Bridge, passengers saw that he gasped for air and then the car rode the bumps of the bridge.
“But my brother held onto the steering wheel firmly with both hands, and was trying to prevent the car from getting out of control. He put on his four-way flasher and took the car off the bridge, stopped it, and took his last breath just after he crossed the bridge,” Reid-Turner further told The Beacon.
She stated that she was not cognizant of her brother having any medical complications except hypertension, which was under control.
Reid-Turner said her brother, who operated public passenger vehicles for many years, was well-known and highly respected especially in the Bog Walk area.
“He was a very helpful person; he was very jovial,” she further said, adding that people throughout the community have been singing her brother’s praises.
“My brother is normally like the speaker for the community; he was also a good singer. Whenever any taximan or busman died, he would always organize a choir and he would be the lead singer,” Reid-Turner said. “Everywhere you go, all you hear about my brother are good things.”
In the meantime, Karen Sudu, a Bog Walk philanthropist who heads the True United Sisters organization, spoke highly of Mr Reid, whom she met in 2003 while she worked at the Social Development Commission.
“Mr Reid had good leadership skills; he was very caring, well organised and very professional,” Sudu told The Beacon, adding: “I was devastated when I heard about his passing; I was shocked. Mr Reid was such a humble person.”
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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