There are at least two often mocked and reviled institutions that come to the fore each time Caribbean societies face the annual challenges of our geography.
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Woman killed in PBR hit-and-run
The love shared by childhood sweethearts Oswald Ayers and his wife Julia was literally torn away from him by a speeding driver who did not even stop after colliding with the couple on the Priority Bus Route on Saturday.
They had been married together for 41 years and did almost everything together. As he would always do, Oswald said, he held his wife’s arm as they crossed the road at the Bon Air Gardens intersection around 7.30 pm.
They had moments before emerged from a maxi taxi and were on their way home after running errands to prepare for the funeral of his wife’s brother who died hours earlier.
“The traffic light was on green still but we didn’t see any vehicle coming until the split second before it hit. I see the light coming, where it come or how far I don’t know. It was coming fast. All I know is that I was holding her, and she was behind me and the car pass and ‘voosh’ took her away. If it was a six, seven inches again it would have taken me too,” Ayers said.
Recounting his wife’s last moments at their Wood Nymph Crescent, Bon Air Gardens Arouca home yesterday, Ayers said one of his feet was on the sidewalk and he was just about to step up when the car struck his wife.
Ayers said a speeding silver Nissan Wagon heading west along the Priority Bus Route struck his wife.
The force of the impact pitched her several feet away. Ayers was also thrown down by the impact. He recalled hearing a “bap” as his wife’s body landed on the asphalt.
“I couldn’t even think straight, I just called my son and tell him his mother dead because the way that sound when she hit the ground I know she was dead,” Ayers said.
Ayers said as he had a longer stride than his wife he was a few steps in front of her. Asked if he had any message to the driver who took his wife’s life, he said: “What I go tell the driver? Don’t drink and drive? Don’t speed? Don’t be on the PBR? It won’t bring back my wife. I can’t kill him, I would get lock up. I can’t damage him, I would get jail.
“I mean I’m pretty hurt. I know her since she going to school,” Ayers said.
He said his wife was a geriatric nurse and had taken care of her brother, Vernon Wheeler, up to his death at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex on Saturday. He said his wife was an all round person who had to be told to stop helping others otherwise she would do without to facilitate others.
Ayers, 67, a retired TSTT employee, and his wife, 62, celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary on June 26. They have three sons.
“It has been 41 great years with no regrets. If I had to do it all over again I would still take the chance with her. She was a community person, always jovial, very outspoken, straightforward with no malice. And I loved that about her,” Ayers said as he summed up his relationship.
“We understood and loved each other. I had a good wife and she knew she had a good man. We had planned to take a trip to Barbados or Tobago to celebrate our anniversary but had put it off to later this year or early next year,” Ayers said.
Ayers buried her mother one week ago. His wife would have celebrated her 63rd birthday on Wednesday. She had planned to bury her brother on Thursday and one of her three sons’ birthday is on Friday.
Police said around 7.30 pm on Saturday they were informed of a fatal accident along the Priority Bus Route and appealed to the driver to come in.
The couple’s second son, Cordell Ayers said he received a call from his father telling him that his mother had died, and then the call dropped. Cordell said he had been waiting for a call from his parents telling him that they had arrived home and when he received the call he was expecting to hear his father say they were home.
At the end of the conversation, he raced to the scene where he saw his mother’s body lying a few feet from the intersection.
Cordell said he would seek counselling for his father who he said remained “shaken up” by the incident. To date 44 people have died as a result of road traffic accidents.