'God, help we!'
Wife of cabbie in five-fatality crash struggles to cope
Petrina Rodney (left), wife of Delroy Rodney who has been charged with five counts of causing death by dangerous driving, is comforted after she broke down in tears on Monday. (Photos: Kimberley Peddie)

BLUEFIELDS, Westmoreland — Petrina Rodney wept bitterly on Monday when she realised that her husband Delroy, who has been charged with five counts of causing death by dangerous driving, would not be home for her son's birthday.

Delroy Rodney has spent the last six nights in custody, and having him home was a gift she had been hoping she could give their child.

"Today is our last son's birthday, and we were wishing he could have come home with us 'cause he's [the child] asking for him and wish he come home today but... oh God!" she cried.

Her grief permeated the air outside the Westmoreland Parish Court where relatives, the pastor and members of the church where her husband is a deacon, along with his fellow cabbies once again gathered in a show of support.

Taxi operators gathered outside the Westmoreland Parish Court in support on Monday during Delroy Rodney's appearance.

Petrina Rodney struggled to understand why her family, God-fearing people, has been dealt such a blow.

"My husband is a nice person. My husband is a complete husband — there is nothing he doesn't help me to do in the house," the grieving wife told the Jamaica Observer.

"My husband wash, my husband cooks — everything my husband does. We never in a argument. Oh God, why is this happening to us? My God, help! God, help we! To show you the type of family man he is, he has to keep devotion before he comes road," she said.

Rodney was remanded until this Wednesday when his bail application will continue.

On Monday, the prosecutor stressed that there are three outstanding statements.

"The Crown has not been in receipt of the statements, [so] the Crown will need to oppose to the bail," the prosecution said.

The Crown added that statements from an eyewitness, a first responder, and the investigating officer are critical to the case.

In responding to the Crown, Rodney's attorney Lambert Johnson said he had expected the investigating officer to be in court on Monday.

He again complained that there have been erroneous media reports that Rodney fled the scene of the crash.

"No such thing, Your Honour," Johnson said. "He went and sought medical care and then he went to the chambers of an attorney same day, and arrangements were made with the investigating officer."

Johnson then asked the prosecutor if the investigating officer was objecting to bail. The reply was, "Yes!"

Johnson was clear in his displeasure.

"I don't wish to lecture but, having stood in this position for over 15 years, I find the approach — to say the least — appalling. As an officer of justice you need to stand up and account for justice," Johnson argued.

However, Senior Parish Judge Steve Walters made it clear who has the final say regarding bail.

"Bail is incumbent on the court to make a decision. Whether the officer says he is objecting is not a rubber stamp for the court," the judge noted.

He reminded that there is a vital witness who survived the crash, along with Rodney. However, Johnson was confident that the witness's testimony will not hurt his case.

"One person on the bus. That one statement will not contradict what is already said," he told the court.

Judge Walters then asked Rodney to stand as he made his ruling.

"The continuation of your bail application will be done Wednesday at 12:30 pm," said the judge.

According to a police report, about 3:30 pm on November 13, Rodney's taxi, with six people on-board, was travelling towards Whitehouse when the vehicle it was travelling behind slowed down. Rodney swerved, collided with a truck that was travelling in the opposite direction, and ended up in a tree. Three of the occupants of Rodney's vehicle died on the scene. Two who were taken to hospital succumbed to their injuries later that night.


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