Tue | Jan 21, 2020

I saw it in a dream - Distraught principal feels guilty for not warning parents about accident that claimed three lives

Published:Wednesday | November 14, 2018 | 12:05 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Latoya Cunningham, mother of eight-year-old Latisha Williams, of the John Rollins Success Primary School, who died in an accident along the Rose Hall main road in St James yesterday morning.
Eight-year-old Latisha Williams, who died in a motor vehicle accident along the Rose Hall main road in St James yesterday.
Remnants of the Toyota motorcar in which three persons who died yesterday were travelling along the Rose Hall main road, St James.
Municipal Councillor of the Rose Hall Division, Anthony Murray.


With three more lives lost, two of them children, on the Rose Hall Highway in St James, stakeholders are calling for a rezoning of the accident-prone main road.

Principal of the John Rollins Success Primary School, Yvonne Miller Wisdom, and municipal councillor of the Rose Hall division, Anthony Murray, want the speed limit reduced, stronger enforcement of the road code, and increased monitoring of the area by the police.

Miller Wisdom broke down and wept openly at the Hospiten Hospital in Montego Bay yesterday, as she spoke about the tragedy that stole not just two of her young students, but also one of her parents.

The three ­- six-year-old Latisha Williams, eight-year-old Tiara Thompson and Kevin Hamilton -­ died yesterday about 8 a.m., after Hamilton reportedly lost control of his Toyota Corolla motor car, which landed in a ditch near a ballground metres away from the school. Two other students who were in the car received injuries and remain in hospital. Hamilton was transporting the children to school.

Hamilton had to be cut from the vehicle by emergency workers. He died before reaching the hospital, while Williams was pronounced dead at Hospiten and Thompson at Cornwall Regional Hospital.

Unable to control her emotion, Miller Wisdom said she felt somewhat guilty, having not mentioned a dream she had on Sunday to parents at the school.

“I dreamt of an accident that on Sunday, I was walking along Humber Avenue with a former teacher and I saw an accident and the car was leaning against a precipice. We removed the car, when we looked below, there was just water,” she said.

“I feel this guilt, that if I had come and said something to my parents and tell them to take it easy on the road, it could have helped.”

According to the principal, as a result of the frequency of accidents in the vicinity, every morning she passes a utility pole on the ground and every evening another one in the very same place.

“From the school was constructed, we have been begging NWA (National Works Agency) for an overhead bridge. Currently, we have to be paying for a traffic warden to take the children across the street,” shared Miller Wisdom.

“Nobody knows what happened in this case, but we are pleading with the others to take it easy on the road. This is the second accident like this. In 2007, one of our students was killed by a minibus.”

Murray wants the area transformed into a school zone, owing to the fact that two other schools are located in the area ­ the Naz Children’s Centre and Heinz Simonitsch.
Latoya Cunningham, mother of Latisha Williams, was inconsolable. In-between the tears and speaking with the media, the 21-year-old woman said she felt like dying.

Latisha was her second child and the fourth person to die in her family in recent times.