LAST JANUARY, Althea Atkinson buried her sister and has still not got over the loss. But history has repeated itself in her life as one year later, she is confronted with another traumatic experience: that of the death of another sibling.
This time, her brother Glendon, a driver employed to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company, died after the vehicle he was driving collided with another of the state-owned buses at the intersection of Port Royal and Pechon streets in Kingston.
When The Gleaner visited the house at Washington Gardens in Kingston on Thursday where Glendon resided, friends and relatives had gathered there to comfort family members.
much to bear
But it was too much for some to bear. Althea wept openly as she spoke highly of her brother.
"He came by my house in Portland on Sunday and left Monday. When he was leaving, he said he would want to visit more often, but because of the work that his wife does and his kids have to go to school, he would have to spend only one day," she said.
"He was a very good brother. He was jovial and kind. He took us to Rio Grande Monday and we had a very good time," she added.
Marie, a teacher, was not at home as she had gone to the morgue to identify her husband's body.
But when The Gleaner got her by phone, she was too traumatised to have a prolonged conversation.
She shared with The Gleaner that she got a phone call at 9:30 Wednesday night informing her about the crash.
"When he left the morning he said he was leaving and he will see us later, and he called while he was on the road. He was the best," was all Marie said before she broke down in tears.
"My uncle was the best person. He was the best dad, the best uncle and the best friend. He would give you his last cent and still smile," Ian Atkinson, one of Glendon's nephews, said. "He was a Christian-oriented family person and it is a tough period for us."
"He had five children between the ages of 12 and 29, and they are not doing well," he lamented.
It has been reported that shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, the buses collided and the impact pushed one of the vehicles across the street where it lodged in the fence of the Kingston Craft Market.
Atkinson was flung from the vehicle and was killed.
Several commuters had to be rushed to hospital.