- Whitehouse mourns ‘Village Mother’
Michael Nattoo – Staff Reporter
On Friday, June 14, in the usually quiet community of Whitehouse, St. James, one resident’s account of the sound of bones breaking beneath a freightliner truck painted the tragic circumstances under which 60-year-old beloved ‘Village Mother’, Jennifer Wright, lost her life.
“They said it was purely accidental,” explained Ryan, one of Wright’s six children. “I had just helped her carry down some crates with bottles to the truck, and then I went back inside.”
Wright, who had been involved in the business of selling bottles back to the distribution trucks, remained outside for a while after, but moments later, Ryan reported hearing her say “but watch ya!” He explained to the Western Mirror that following that outburst, an alarm was raised by a neighbour, which was quickly followed by panicked shouts from the truck driver.
Ryan rushed outside to a scene he explained he is still having trouble forgetting – the bloody wheels of the truck, the truck driver shouting to him to call an ambulance, and the partially crushed body of his mother lying half way between the front and back wheels.
By Ryan’s account, as well as that of the neighbour who reportedly witnessed the whole ordeal, the back wheels of the truck had run over the elderly woman.
“Being a lifeguard for years and someone who was well-versed in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), I rushed over to her body. I decided to first check her pulse, but when I did, there was nothing. By that time, my mother was already dead. I don’t know who called the ambulance, but apparently someone did. They took a while to come, but they eventually did, and the police came too.” Ryan further revealed that the neighbour who was raising the alarm explained to him that when the truck first ran over Wright, he could hear the sounds of her bones breaking.
According to the Coral Gardens Police, the driver of the truck allegedly reversed without knowing that Wright was behind the unit. She was accidentally mowed down by the truck, which was immediately followed by the truck’s co-driver getting the driver’s attention. Wright was eventually rushed to the hospital where, according to the police, she was pronounced dead.
LIES AND RECKLESSNESS
According to Ryan, however, someone is lying about what really happened. “They claimed that there was somebody outside the truck directing it, so how did they not see that my mother was behind it? Something doesn’t add up. I heard them telling the police that, but it’s not true,” he shared. “They’re telling a bunch of lies.” He further alleged that they were being reckless, and that the incident could have been avoided had they not been more careful. “They said they were even blowing the truck horn. That’s a lie. It’s a small community, sir. If they were blowing it, we would have heard. Nobody heard no truck horn blowing.”
Since the tragic incident, no one from the distribution company in question has contacted the family, Ryan confirmed.
“No one, aside from the investigating officer, has contacted us. So right now, we just have to huddle together as a family and handle this. It’s hard, and I’ve been zoned out ever since the whole thing, but we have to just handle it,” Ryan relayed to the Western Mirror.
COMMUNITY IN SHAMBLES
“It feels like a boulder just rolled through the community. She was a mother to everyone in the community. Any likkle thing they would come to her. She really was the ‘Village Mother’ – caring and loving everyone. She even informally adopted. Now, the entire community is just crushed.”
Wright’s first child, who was residing overseas for some time, is expected to arrive on the island today, and is expected to meet with other siblings to discuss the way forward in the matter, Ryan revealed.
Investigations are ongoing.