News

Tragedy!

Five die in Hanover two-vehicle collision

BY HORACE HINES
& ANTHONY LEWIS

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Tragedy struck on the Hopewell main road in Hanover, Sunday night, when five St James residents were left dead after a two-vehicle collision involving a Toyota sedan and a Toyota station wagon.

The two occupants of the station wagon have been hospitalised in serious condition. The deceased individuals had been travelling in the sedan.

The five deceased were reportedly returning home from a party in Negril, Westmoreland. They are: Nicholas Ffrench, also called Country Man; Phillip Jones, and Joseph Brown, 28, also called Pants, who are all of Green Pond; and Jovian Morris, 30, of Glendevon. The name of the female, who is said to be from Maroon Town, was not ascertained up to press time last night.

Reports from the police are that about 10:30 pm, the occupants of the sedan motor car, which was being driven by Brown, were heading back home to St James from a party in Negril when the driver reportedly lost control of the car upon reaching a section of the Orchard main road in Hopewell. It then reportedly collided with the station wagon, which had been travelling in the opposite direction.

District officer attached to the Lucea Fire Station, Karen Williams, said fire and paramedics teams from Lucea in Hanover and Montego Bay in St James responded with ambulances and fire trucks. Help was also sought from the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea.

When the Jamaica Observer visited Glendevon yesterday, a grief-stricken Sharon Cummings, Morris's mother, recounted that she last spoke to her son on Sunday afternoon when he asked for money to attend a water party in Negril.

“The last time he spoke to me was about four o'clock yesterday (Sunday). He said, 'Sharon, mi want go water party and mi want $2,000.' And mi send the $2,000 go give him. That was the last time mi talk to mi son,” a grieving Cummings related.

“At about two o'clock [Monday morning], my niece called mi and tell mi that Jovian dead,” stated a teary-eyed Cummings, who added: “Oh, my God, I can't tell you. He was everything. I have two of them, Jovian and Jodian, I don't even know what to say.”

She further expressed that Jovian “was a loving person in the community. He was loved by everyone”.

Meanwhile, a sombre atmosphere blanketed the adjoining Green Pond community.

Neville Gooden, also called Dwayne, a friend of the deceased, recounted that he and other friends from St James had been at a party in Negril with Ffrench, Jones, Brown, Morris, and the female.

However, when they were ready to head back home, the occupants of the ill-fated vehicle decided to attend an after-party.

But, for reasons unknown, they seemed to have decided against attending the after-party because, according to a distraught Gooden, he stopped with them briefly when they met up on the way to St James.

“We stopped at Green Island, a so we buck dem up, because it look like dem change them mind,” Gooden explained.

He became concerned, when, upon reaching their Green Pond community he did not see nor hear from them. He said he became even more concerned after calling their cellphones and did not get any answer.

Gooden became more depressed after receiving a text message that five people had died in a crash on the Hopewell main road.

However, his worst fears were realised when, along with community members, he made the trek to Hopewell and realised who the five people were that perished in the crash.

“Every day a up a dem yard mi deh. Every morning dem link mi. A true you don't even know!” bemoaned Gooden.

His mother, Mercedes Gooden, and other community members who gathered at a section of the street near the premises where Ffrench, Jones and Brown lived, all had grief etched on their faces.

“They [were] good guys. In the community we flex like mother and sons because they and my son are the same age group. This has left the community in a state of shock,” bemoaned Gooden's mother.

In the meantime, Dean Reid, expressed regrets at the loss of lives.

“The three [Green Pond] youths we lost are three prominent youths — highly respected youth them. A youth dem that fit in. If we have community projects and all of that, they fit in,” Reid repeated.

Sunday's crash has brought the total number of individuals who have died on the nation's roads since the start of the year to 132.

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