Rescued by a tractor

Rescued by a tractor

Couple and newborn son, heading home from hospital, helped across raging river

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT
Senior staff reporter
hibbertk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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HEAVY weekend rain prevented Omar and Cheryl Baker from taking their baby, born October 22, to their home in Trinityville, St Thomas, after the mother was discharged from Princess Margaret Hospital last Friday.

So yesterday, when the couple finally left the hospital with their new bundle of joy, they were anticipating a smooth journey home.

Their excitement, however, dimmed when they got to the spot in Font Hill where they expected to cross the Dry River to get a taxi home. A temporary ford allowing access to pedestrians and motorists while a bridge is being constructed, was washed away by the raging river.

The couple, who spoke with the Jamaica Observer while standing on the river bank, said they were worried they would have to return to the hospital as they were unable to make it across the river by car or foot with their newborn in tow.

“I am really worried because I want to go across as we are just getting the chance to come home. If we can't go across we may have to go back to the hospital, but my wife was discharged from Friday, so I really want to go home,” Omar said.

The Bakers' prayers were soon answered, when the driver of a tractor working on the bridge decided to give them a lift across the river.

With his newborn boy safely nestled against his chest, Baker sat beside the tractor driver while his wife clutched the rails of the heavy-duty vehicle as it ploughed through the raging water.

Once on the other side, the couple quickly boarded a taxi and made their way home to avoid the rain, which had resumed.

While the couple's worries were resolved, others trekked through the water or paid a fee of $100 to be assisted across the flooded river.

Some motorists who dared to go across had to be pushed out of the riverbed.

Meanwhile, Marcia Staple, who was standing on the Font Hill side of the river, shared that she had travelled from Whitehouse, Westmoreland, for a one-day family visit in Trinityville and feared she would have to make the long journey back home without seeing her relatives, as she had been at the river bank from 11:00 am. She spoke to the Observer at approximately 3:30 pm.

“Just imagine how long I've been travelling and we can't get across. We just came for a one-day visit and now we may have to return home without doing what we came to do,” Staple said.


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