When 62-year-old St Mary taxi driver Delroy Dobbs agreed to transport one of his friends' grandfather to the Annotto Bay Hospital some five years ago, he had no idea that the man would die in his vehicle, resulting in a number of his regular passengers opting to not drive with him after learning of the incident.
Dobbs told the Jamaica Observer that, while he was not shaken by the experience, he understood that some of his passengers were afraid to travel with him because a dead man in the vehicle.
“A gentleman who I knew from school days asked me to carry his father to the hospital. I went up to the home and they assisted me and put the elderly gentleman in the car, and I took him to the hospital. We were there waiting on the porter to come and take out the gentleman, and by time the porters them come is a dead man in the car,” Dobbs recalled.
“Then hear the big thing 'bout it now, when mi come 'round and fi load up my car to go ply mi regular route, people dem nuh want to come in a mi car. Dem seh a dah car deh did a carry the dead people dem?'' Dobbs continued.
He said that he was not 100 per cent sure how people learnt of the incident, but he suspected that they heard through the grapevine.
Not being one to fear death, Dobbs said, “To be real honest, I didn't clean the car because he was in his good, good clothes, and he never leave any residue in a mi car, so mi never did have no reason to do that. A man dead in a mi car and, personally, mi nuh see nothing wrong with that.”
According to Dobbs, he lost some amount of money when passengers refused to drive with him, but “mi never really take it too seriously because mi know how Jamaica people stay, a one day thing them deal with, you know, so mi know after a while it a go wear off”.
Noting that the fear his passengers experienced lasted about two weeks, Dobbs said he was extremely thankful to his loyal customers who stuck with him and didn't abandon him after learning about the incident.
“You know you a go have some people weh nah go left you out regardless of what, so you have a one and two people weh came wid mi still, until things went back to normal,” Dobbs told the Observer.
Name: Delroy Dobbs
Length of career: 16 years
Route: Annotto Bay to Kildare, St Mary