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Park Lane’s walking miracle

Mason narrowly missed being crushed by collapsed house during Sandy

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 30, 2012    

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FIFTY-EIGHT-YEAR-OLD David Smith is being described as a “walking miracle” by his neighbours in Park Lane, which runs off Red Hills Road in St Andrew, after his close shave with death during last Wednesday’s passage of Hurricane Sandy.

Residents told the Jamaica Observer last Thursday that Smith, a mason by trade, narrowly missed being crushed when his house collapsed just a split second after he exited the dwelling as Sandy’s powerful winds and heavy rains battered the island for the better part of Wednesday afternoon after it made landfall five miles east of Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city.

Many homes in Park Lane suffered wind damage, but none as bad as Smith’s.

“From mi born mi never see nothing like this. The man in a him house and just as him step out almost all of him house crumble down,” said one woman who identified herself as Marcia.

The residents said a car parked in the yard and other of Smith’s belongings were buried by the rubble.

As the residents peered through what was left of the perimeter fencing around the house, Smith — who had left the area — arrived on the scene. He was greeted by loud cheers.

“Look pon the man star! Only in a Jamaica that could a happen star,” said one man as he saluted Smith with a smile.

A calm Smith smiled in return.

“Boss, to tell you the truth, I was in me community yesterday (Wednesday) and during the storm, a voice just told me to go outside go look for something and as me step through the door, every thing came crumbling down,” Smith said.

He believes it was his strong faith in God that kept him alive.

His neighbours concurred. However, they said the material used to build the house may have caused it to collapse during the category one storm, which made an unusual south to north trek across the island, exiting near Portland.

“Yes, we believe a God save him, but a because him use dirt instead of sand and cement to build him house why it collapsed,” said one resident, grinning as she ran away from the scene.

Ignoring the harsh comment, Smith continued to thank God. “Right now mi just giving thanks while I try to pick up the pieces,” he said, as he joined other residents in the area who were carrying out repairs to their houses.

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