Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Cecile Mott's lone female child was swept away by the raging flood waters from the heavy rains on Sunday night, but she has sought to make it clear that she harbours no ill-feeling towards the driver of the motorcar in which her daughter was travelling when the tragedy struck.
Alexa Douglas, a promising 19-year-old netballer who was in her second year at GC Foster College of Physical Education, was killed after the taxi being operated by Marlon James was washed into a ditch along the Sligoville main road, in the parish.
James and four other passengers in the car at the time walked away from the plunge almost unscathed.
The teen's devastated mother revealed that James approached her and said he was sorry he could not have saved her daughter.
"I have no bad feelings towards him ... it was an accident that could happen to anybody," she told The Gleaner after she and James gave statements to the police.
The well-known taxi operator admitted he too was "devastated" by the incident because he and Douglas "live like bredda and sister".
He recounted the horrifying incident, which, according to him, occurred in a matter of minutes.
James said he was driving towards Spanish Town when, on reaching the St Jago Hill area, the flood waters began to get heavy.
He said he stopped the car and tried to turn back, but by then it was too late.
"Me feel di car start move an' me no have no control ova it den me jus feel when it drop inna di ditch," he recalled.
Amid the darkness and the gushing waters, James said he instructed his passengers not to open the doors.
"Me tell dem say me a go open the windows an' dem fi try climb through it before the water full up the car," he said.
"She (Douglas) open fi har door and next thing me no see har," he added.
Douglas' body was found by residents hours later, more than a mile away in the adjoining community of Waterloo.
Mott said her daughter was heading back to her dorm at GC Foster College. She also said she and other relatives had tried to talk her out of making the trip in the heavy rains.
"Her brother begged her not to go, but she was determined to go," said Mott.