Hanover cop killed in traffic accident
INSPECTOR Andrea Johnson, who was in charge of the Sandy Bay Police Station in Hanover, was killed yesterday morning when the sport utility vehicle (SUV) she was driving plunged into a ravine off the Long Hill main road near Montego Bay.
Reports are that at approximately 8:30 a.m., Johnson was driving her SUV from Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, towards Montego Bay, when the accident occurred.
"It dropped a good distance down the ravine before it settled in a heap near the bottom," said an onlooker who arrived on the scene shortly after the accident. "Nobody could have survived a steep drop like that."
When The Gleaner contacted the Sandy Bay police for a comment, an officer said no senior personnel was available to speak on the incident.
"Nobody can talk to you right now," the police said. "Ö Everybody shaken up badly by the news Ö . She was more than a colleague and a boss. She was a friend."
Former police officer Craig Oates, who was once the sub-officer in charge at the Sandy Bay Police Station, told The Gleaner that the entire Hanover was in mourning, as Johnson was loved and respected by many people in the parish.
"She was doing an excellent job in and around Sandy Bay and, as a result, she had earned the respect of the residents," said Oates. "Hanover has lost an exemplary policewoman who was doing the kind of job that any man would be proud of."
Because of the difficult terrain where Johnson's SUV plunged, it took emergency workers, including the St James Fire Department, an extended period to reach the wreckage. Even as late as 1:30 p.m., the mangled vehicle, with Johnson's body still inside, had not been retrieved.
In addition to her exemplary work as a policewoman, Johnson was also a leading sports personality in western Jamaica. She was the female champion at the annual Area One Police Athletics Championship for several years. She was also an accomplished netballer.
"In Area One Police Sports, Andrea was unstoppable on the track for several years," said Maureen Hibbert, Johnson's former netball teammate.