Hit-and-run kills former St James deputy mayor

Published: Thursday | December 19, 2013 Comments 0

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

FORMER DEPUTY mayor of the St James Parish Council, Princess Vernon, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Delkalb County, Georgia, last Friday evening.

Police are yet to ascertain the identity of the driver, who did not stop.

"All we know is the car was of a dark colour, and it didn't stop," Vernon's daughter, Coretta Scott, told The Gleaner Monday night from her home in Stone Mountain, Atlanta.

Vernon, who served as deputy mayor in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)-controlled parish council between 1981 and 1983, was not found by her family until two days after her death. Reports are that Vernon was walking on the street on her way to a supermarket when she was hit.

She was pronounced dead at the Grady Memorial Hospital.

According to Scott, she left her mom at home on Friday, went out of town and returned on Saturday. On her return, she sent a text to which she got no response. She later went home where she saw her mother's Bibles, which she would normally take to church and knew something was amiss.

Coretta Scott said she knew her mother had gone missing, but the law states that a report cannot be made 24 hours after a person actually goes absent. It was with the help of her mom's church family that she was able to find her body at the hospital. "All we had was a jacket that was found on the roadside where she was hit."

City in shock

As the news hit Montego Bay, where Vernon worked for years, former JLP mayor Shalman Scott, with whom she served, described her death as shock to him and the people in St James. She was noted for being a very smart political activist and she was also noted to be a hard worker within the corridors of the JLP.

He said it was some of those qualities that endeared her to her colleagues, who voted for her to be vice-chairman and deputy mayor. "She will be greatly missed," he said.

Funeral service for Vernon, will take place in Georgia and Jamaica.

The Jamaica service is confirmed for January 2 at King's Seventh-day Adventist Church, Mt Salem, St James.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com

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