News

VIDEO: Victim's son narrowly missed deadly gorge plunge

Looters had field day with spilled meat

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 05, 2012    

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MICHAEL Nicholas Jnr was scheduled to visit his father in Gordon Pen, St Catherine, Wednesday evening, but changed his mind after he was overcome by a strange feeling.

The 18-year-old was to have joined his father Michael Nicholas and half-brother Travis to work on the ill-fated truck that plunged over Flat Bridge into the Rio Cobre later that evening, killing the two and another man, 25-year-old Kemar Watt. A fourth man was rescued and rushed to hospital.

Reports are that at about 9:00 pm, the vehicle was travelling along the Bog Walk gorge towards Spanish Town and upon reaching the Flat Bridge, its rear left wheel hit the embankment, which caused the vehicle to flip over into the angry river.

The vehicle and its occupants were soon swallowed up by the muddy waters.

Police and firefighters were called to the scene and a desperate eight-hour search ended early yesterday morning with the discovery of the three bodies.

"I was at home at about 9:30 pm when I got a call that the truck that mi father and brother was travelling in turn over," Nicholas Jnr told the Jamaica Observer yesterday morning.

"As mi hear mi jump inna a taxi and rush out to the scene. All now mi nuh sleep," he added as tears welled up in his eyes.

"All now mi cannot believe. It was just yesterday [Wednesday] I was planning to link mi father so that I could join my brother to work on the truck in the night, and for some reason the vibes just go way," the distraught Nicholas related.

"If mi did go pon the truck, maybe I would have lost my life, too," he added, his voice trembling as he witnessed the bodies of his father and brother being fished from the river.

Yesterday, the work of investigators was made more difficult as scores descended on the scene to retrieve meat and other items that were being transported in the truck.

Divers searched the river, each time coming up with chicken, cow's feet and other parts of the animal as well as packs of jumbo sausages which they threw to women, men and children standing on the river bank.

Persons were seen carrying bags of meat from the scene.

"We have cow foot, no chicken back fi di res' a di week," one man declared, while a group of persons jostled for the spoils behind him.

Yesterday, the Jamaica Broilers Group disclosed that the men were employees of one of its contractors. The group expressed condolences to their families.

"We are grateful for the efforts extended by members of our staff, divers and emergency workers on the scene as they successfully rescued the fourth worker, who has since been treated at hospital and released," the group said in a statement.

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