‘He was a jovial soul’

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Damaine Simpson Jr
  •  Only child hit by car, dies

Michael Nattoo/Barrington Flemming story

Eleven-year-old Damaine Simpson Jr., abandoned by his mother at three days old, and the only child for his visually impaired father, was heading home from school last Thursday to the woman who raised him – grandmother, Veronica Spence, when, in a playful moment with some school friends, he was hit by a car.

Damaine died, plunging those closest to him in mourning.

His grandmother, however, felt the pain of his passing more, as just last year, in the same month – November, she lost Damaine’s two cousins, sisters Tiana and Tiara Thompson – her granddaughters, in a motor vehicle related tragedy.

In the case of Damaine, according to the Sandy Bay Police, about 3:30 p.m. on the day in question, Damaine, a student of the Sandy Bay Primary and Junior High School, was crossing the roadway when he was hit a motor vehicle that was travelling towards Lucea.

Damaine reportedly sustained injuries, and was rushed to the Noel Holmes Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the motor vehicle, according to the police, was warned for prosecution, and had his motor vehicle seized.

In an interview with the Western Mirror, Damaine Simpson Snr., father of the deceased, was in disbelief about his son’s tragic passing. “I don’t know how I’m feeling,” the visually impaired Simpson shared. He was my only child. Right now, I am just flabbergasted.”

Amidst his grief, however, Simpson, who is visually impaired and is a trained teacher and counselor, recalled the promise he saw in his son, and remembered his dreams and his jovial demeanor.

“I would take him to the clinic when required… It is most painful to lose him. He had ambitions of becoming a soldier. I gave him a trip overseas to Orlando, Florida, in July because he had been doing well at school,” Simpson Snr. Shared with the Western Mirror. He also explained that though he was an active presence in Damaine’s life, it was truly his mother, Veronica Spence, who raised his son.

“It was my mother who raised him. He was such a respectful, jovial and wonderful son…  and now he is gone,” the grieving Simpson Snr disclosed.

HEARTBROKEN

Spence, who is both hypertensive and diabetic, was really shaken by the news of Damaine’s death, which was reflected by a dangerous spike in her after learning of Damaine’s fate.

“My God, he was my little company. He was so loving and nice. He would come and hug me and say ‘Grandma, how you look so sad?’ and kiss me and cheer me up.  I don’t know how to manage this; it too painful.  From three days-old until he was 11 I raised him. What am I to do now?” she lamented.

Principal of the Sandy Bay Primary and Junior High School, Eugenie Simpson, confirmed that Damaine was indeed a jovial student who was academically driven.

“He was a very jovial student. He was very hardworking, academically sound, and was active as all boys are,” she shared.

Miss Simpson related that the counseling cohort of the Ministry of Education visited the school following Damaine’s passing, where Damaine’s father, grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins, came to the school, along with the students and teachers, and were counseled.

The Sandy Bay Police, who also bemoaned Damaine’s death, issued an appeal to the students to be careful when crossing the road and not play along the road, and to keep along the sidewalk.

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