Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
Mother, sister grapple with 18-y-o accident victim's passing after six-week-long coma
Juliet Clarke did not think her life could have been more traumatised than it had been for the past six weeks, but she was wrong.
After waiting, praying and hoping for six punishing weeks, the vigil she had held for her 18-year-old daughter, Venesha Clarke, came to a crashing end as a terrible traffic mishap of more than a month ago has now claimed her daughter's life.
Clarke collapsed into mourning on Monday when the comatose teen died at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).
Venesha had been hospitalised since July 17, when she and her 22-year-old sister, Nyeisha Clarke, were mowed down by a truck along Old Harbour Road in St Catherine.
Clarke, a 43-year-old security officer, temporarily abandoned her job to stay by Venesha's bedside, hoping and praying for the recovery that would never come.
"My daughter passed away at 5:58 Monday morning," the distraught mother told The Gleaner.
As for Nyeisha, who was also knocked unconscious when the driver of the truck reportedly lost control, careening onto the sidewalk after a collision with another car, she is now traumatised over the loss of her sibling.
"I have to have (Nyeisha) with me everywhere. She has not even gone back to work. She breaks down repeatedly and stays in my bed, which is strange. She has never done this before," Clarke said.
"It is really sad, right now. We are so sad. She died a horrible death. If she had died the same time she was hit, instead of suffering so … ," her voice trailed off.
Nyeisha, the elder of the two who regained consciousness within a week of the accident, lamented that her younger sister had absorbed the brunt of the impact from the out-of-control truck. She regained consciousness after both were rushed to the Spanish Town Hospital, but Venesha had to be immediately transferred to the KPH.
Nyeisha was on her way to an ATM while Venesha was going to the Electoral Office of Jamaica to sign documents for her national identification card when tragedy struck.
"They were hoisted and thrown metres away," Clarke said.
Having made the twice-daily trips from her home in Cromarty, St Catherine, to the KPH, Clarke told The Gleaner she felt as if the world was closing in on her. With funds in terribly short supply, she said she did not know where to turn.
"All of my money gone left me, I am in need of assistance," she mumbled. "Me a look help."
Clarke said her family was with her, standing by her side. Alas, they too have little financial reserves.
"To tell you the truth, they stand up with me, but they don't have money," she said.
The distressed mother told The Gleaner that even before she buries Venesha, she will have to cope with a court hearing, which is scheduled for Monday of next week.
Clarke told The Gleaner that both the driver and owner of the Isuzu truck, which is the property of a business establishment in St Catherine, have avoided her family since that fateful morning of July 17.
For the past six weeks, Clarke existed between weeping and visiting Venesha, even as Nyeisha struggled to reclaim her life. For her, this seems almost impossible.
"After the impact, I don't remember anything at all until I regained consciousness in hospital," Nyeisha said.
The official report states the truck, which is the property of the Bushy Park-based Bread and More Bakery, collided with a 1996 Nissan Sunny motor car and careened into the sidewalk, hitting the two young women.
September will mark six months since the 2012 local government elections. Since those elections, do you know what your mayor/parish council has achieved?