CASCADE, Hanover — Seventeen-year-old Cadiesha Purkiss of Cascade, Hanover, was one of the three persons killed in a two-bike collision on the Norman Manley Boulevard in Negril, Westmoreland Sunday night, a day after attending her brother's funeral.
In fact, Purkiss read the first lesson at the thanksgiving service of her 16-year-old-brother, Romaine Purkiss, held at the Cascade New Testament Church of God.
The teenager, who was a pillion rider on a motorbike driven by 32-year-old graphic designer Dwayne Morris of Bamboo Drive, Hopewell, Hanover, was heading home from a bike show in the resort town of Negril when they were involved in a collision with another motorcycle, driven by 36-year-old night manager at Beaches Negril hotel Charlton Bennett, of Gallaway district in Westmoreland.
According to the Green Island police, about 11:30 pm Bennett was travelling on his motorbike towards Negril while Morris and his pillion rider, Purkiss, were on the second motor bike heading toward Orange Bay when the two motorbikes collided.
Bennett was pronounced dead on the scene, while Morris and Purkiss were taken to hospital where they died while undergoing treatment.
When the Jamaica Observer entered the Cascade community yesterday it was not difficult to find out where the Purkiss family resides.
The blue plastic covering, which was used to shelter the tent where the wake for Romaine was kept, was still intact. Under the tent were grief-stricken family members and friends of the deceased, some of whom were seated on wooden stools and make-shift seats.
On one of the tables were several empty white rum bottles which indicated the heavy drinking which took place during the 'Nine Night' for Romaine Purkiss.
Among the gathering were Cadiesha's parents, Emil Purkiss and Patrina Grant, who said they did not expect to be making burial preparations for another of their children so early after their 16-year-old son's funeral.
"When I got the call they did not want to tell me that is my daughter dead. But me just feel the vibes say she dead. It is just a sad thing," said the father.
At the same time, he appealed for assistance for his daughter's burial.
"I just buried my son, so if anybody out there can aid us please, I am begging you," the bearded, dreadlocked father appealed, as he took a sip of liquid in a transparent plastic cup.
In Hopewell, a man who gave his name only as Jessie, and who said he was a friend of Morris, was a picture of grief. "He called me just half hour before the accident," he recounted. "He was a jovial person, it was always fun to be around him".
Meanwhile, at Gallaway, Bennett's mother, Roslyn Smith, struggled hard to come to terms with her son's tragic death.
"I can't explain how I feel. I just feel numb, traumatised and shocked. I can't explain how I feel. He (Charlton) was a good, jovial, humble person who would answer to every call," said the grief-stricken mother.