News

Family mourns promising teen's death

BY KARYL WALKER Online news editor walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 26, 2012    

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TEARS streamed down Marcia Coke's face yesterday as she tried hard to muster the strength to come to grips with the untimely death of her teenage daughter.

Coke's was devastated when staff at the Medical Associates Hospital informed her Monday night that her daughter, Mellissa Thompson, had succumbed to injuries she sustained when a Toyota Coaster minibus ploughed into a crowd of people standing at a bus stop on Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston.

Three others were injured but sadly Mellissa would not live to realise her dream of becoming a registered nurse.

'I don't know who wouldn't be proud of Mellissa; she was such a sweet and quiet child," the grieving mother told the Jamaica Observer at her home in Willowdene, St Catherine.

Coke last saw her daughter on Sunday. She was not feeling well and Mellissa dutifully did laundry and helped to care for her five-year-old brother. "I never spoke to her yesterday (Monday) because she left early," Coke said.

The second of three children, Mellissa had earned seven Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) passes at the Jonathan Grant High School and was pursuing CAPE subjects at the Institute of Academic Excellence before her untimely death.

At press time last night, the police were still searching for the main driver, secondary driver and conductor of the ill-fated bus. All three fled the scene after the accident. The police alleged that the bus was being driven by the conductor at the time of the accident.

The manner in which Mellissa died was particularly hard to take for her relatives as in March last year her cousin, 17-year-old Odane Allen, was mowed down in similar fashion as he waited at a bus stop on Old Harbour Road in St Catherine.

The grieving family said no one had been found culpable of Allen's death but this time they are hell-bent on seeking justice for Mellissa.

"Why was a sideman driving that bus? If that driver was hungry he could have stopped the bus and get something to eat. Now they have killed my child," Coke said.

To compound their grief Mellissa's relatives said that when they contacted the police on Monday night they were not told who owned the bus which careened into their loved one and snuffed out her life.

In addition, they said they felt hard done because the owner of the bus did not even make an effort to contact them and console them in their time of mourning, even though that would not have brought Mellissa back to life.

Coke is not only left to mourn her daughter, who had a bright prospect to contribute positively to society, but is left holding the bag as she will have to foot funeral expenses as well.

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