6-y-o boy crushed by cane cart wanted to become a pilot

Shattered dreams

Thursday, April 10, 2014    

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SIX-year-old student Howayne Lewis Jnr's ambition to become a pilot was crushed when he was run over by the wheels of a cane cart, moments away from his Town Head home Monday afternoon.

Now, his little brother, Nathaniel Lewis, 4, has become disillusioned over the passing of his only sibling and wants to quit school.

According to the boys' father, Howayne Lewis Snr, the younger son harboured hopes of becoming a mechanical engineer which he believes would have enabled him to assist in the making of aeroplanes.

“The eldest brother wanted to become a pilot, but his four year-old brother wanted to become a mechanical engineer, because he said that he will be the one to build the plane which his brother would fly.

So that was their plan,” the grieving father told the Jamaica Observer West. “Right now he (younger brother) doesn't want to go back to school because he says that it don't make sense him go back to school because if him make the plane his brother won’t be around to fly it.”

According to the Frome Police, about 3:30 pm a tractor was pulling four cane carts along the roadway in Town Head, when Howayne who was on his way home from school was hit by one of the carts, which then ran over him. He sustained serious injuries and was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Following the accident, the driver reportedly fled the scene, but later turned up at the Frome Police Station with the farmer who owns the tractor.

The driver remained in custody up to late last evening. Meanwhile, when the Observer West visited the home of the grief-stricken parents, Howayne's teary-eyed mother, Nathalie Mellis and his father who were overcome with grief, stared blankly into space.

Howayne Snr who was at the Petersfield Vocational Training Centre where he is a student, said he rushed to the scene of the accident when he heard the shocking news.

“A cousin of mine who was one of the first on the scene, called me and I rushed out from Petersfield. When I came here (Town Head) I rushed through the crowd that had gathered and saw a white sheet.

I took off the sheet and saw him (son) lying on the ground with blood gushing from all about: his face, nose, ears, mouth... everywhere,” the distraught father recounted.

“I looked at him and held him. The lower part of his chest to his legs had the tyre prints.

His eyes were still opened, but when I held him they slowly closed. “Right now it’s hard to come to terms with it. It’s like I am living in a dream. I am trying to face the reality but I can't come to terms with it.”

Mellis told our news team that she was at work when her spouse called with the sad news. Adding that the pain was too much for her to bear, the distraught mother was later taken to hospital for medical care, after her blood pressure shot up.

Both parents recalled that the last moments they spent with their elder son, was during break on Monday at the Town Head Primary School, where he was a grade one student.

“He did not want to be late for classes so he left home in the morning in a hurry in the company of his friends, leaving us behind, so we later went to the school to pay for his lunch and snacks during break. That was the last time we saw him alive,” said the grieving parents.

They both had faint smiles when they recounted that their elder son, who wore a pair of slippers to school that morning — because his school shoes was damaged — said “it is the students who stepped on my feet why they are dirty,” when he was asked to explain the dirt on his feet.

“When we took the lunch and break money for him up to the school had we asked him how his feet so dirty and he said: “a the little, idiot pickney dem step up pon it’,” said Mellis.

He, however, promised to wash his feet during the break and “mek him foot dem clean again because when him reach home him a go come try on his new shoes”.

But, little Howayne did not make it home. He had reached just metres from his home when tragedy struck, preventing him from keeping his promise to show his mother that he could tie the laces on his brand new pair of shoes.

Meanwhile, when the Observer West team visited the Town Head Primary School on Tuesday, the vacant seat where Howayne Jnr sat minutes before he was killed, force fully drove home the reality of the very sad incident.

A bunch of flowers on the desk of the empty bench and a mug shot of the dead student, pinned to a notice board, also served as grim reminders of his tragic passing.

The school's principal, Pauline McIntosh-Cole argued that Howayne Jnr was a very promising student. “Howayne was a very intelligent child.

He acted above his age. You can't give him any argument that him can't reason out,” McIntosh- Cole recalled. She explained that yesterday morning, the grade one students were especially deeply saddened by news of their former classmate's demise.

However, McIntosh-Cole said, “The Child Development Agency, Victim Support, the police, chairman of the school board and persons from around here have been here from morning encouraging them (students).”





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