Janet Thompson, one of five killed in Westmoreland crash, remembered as a ‘good woman’
WESTMORELAND, Jamaica – A pall of gloom blanketed the community of McAlpine when political giant and seasoned businesswoman Janet Thompson, one of the five victims who died tragically in the crash on the Bluefields main road in Westmoreland last month, was laid to rest on Saturday.
Thompson, who was the People’s National Party (PNP) cluster manager for the Whitehouse division, where she resided, was remembered as a ‘good woman’.
Thompson died while returning from the market where she had gone to get groceries for her small business.
Groups of people huddled, most decked in orange and white at the Mc Alpine Church of God Assembly. The air was thick with the scent of flowers and grief as they paid their last respect to Thompson.
“I want to address her as a “good woman”. She was not the ordinary housewife who sat down and waited on a man to bring food to her table. She would have gone out and earned for herself. She was a “good woman” and so today we are mourning because we have lost a woman who not only cared about herself but cared about others,” the officiating pastor Bishop Joseph Campbell said of Thompson who was the drummer at the church.
Among those in attendance at the funeral were PNP General Secretary Dayton Campbell, who is also the Member of Parliament aspirant for Westmoreland Eastern and Councillor candidate for the Whitehouse division, Micheal Jackson.
Campbell brought greetings from the PNP party leader Mark Golding and also encouraged the family to be there for each other.
“We were saddened when we got the news of the untimely passing of one of our stalwarts, and we want the family to know that you are in our prayers,” he encouraged.
“I know that when persons die suddenly, especially the manner in which Janet died, it will cause some of us to question what is going on,” Campbell added.
But, he said,[ as the songwriter puts it] “farther along we’ll know all about and if that doesn’t bring you comfort then I want you to listen to the words of Jesus Christ himself. Let not your heart be troubled…”
Jackson described Thompson as a servant.
“I have lost a friend, a true friend. I’ve lost a sister, a confidant. I’ve lost a true comrade. The greatest among us is the one who served and I can tell you, Janet Thompson was a servant and as she served, she showed joy in her life,” Jackson noted.
Thompson’s daughter Sabrina Marshall in reading the eulogy said her mother was the breadwinner and caregiver and shared the love her mom had for PNP.
“She loved the PNP so much that you wouldn’t dare mention another party in her presence,” the daughter said.
She revealed that her mother started her entrepreneurial gig while at New Hope Primary and Junior High, as her parents could not afford to send her off to Manning’s School after successfully passing the Common Entrance, now called Primary Exit Profile [PEP].
But the church got eerily peaceful when Marshall recounted the day of November 13, when her mom was discovered to be among the five people killed in a vehicular crash.
Marshall fought to hold back the tears as she stepped back and spun her roll, and family members comforted her as she tried to complete the eulogy.
Thompson’s funeral comes two weeks after Delroy Rodney, the taxi operator who has been charged with five counts of causing death by dangerous driving was granted bail in the sum of $7 million by Justice Courtney Daye.
The cabbie is to return to court on February 22, of next year.
According to police reports, about 3:30 pm, the taxi, with seven people onboard, was travelling towards Whitehouse when the vehicle it was travelling behind slowed down. The cab driver swerved, collided with a truck that was travelling in the opposite direction and ended up in a tree.
READ: UPDATE: Driver involved in fatal Westmoreland crash in police custody
Three of the occupants of the Noah died on the scene, while the two that were transported to the hospital later succumbed to their injuries.