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Body of man washed away in gully found

Published:Friday | September 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
A grief-stricken Daniel Marshall is comforted by his sister, Carol, after the body of their 79-year-old father, William, was discovered yesterday in the Sandy Gully.
Carol Marshall comforts her brother Daniel, while also giving a statement to a policeman, after the body of their 79-year-old father William, was discovered yesterday in the Sandy Gully. He has been washed away by flood waters Thursday evening.

There was to be no fairy-tale ending in the story of yet another person being swept away in a gully by raging floodwaters as the tale of 79-year-old labourer William Marshall would prove.

Marshall's tattered body was discovered yesterday morning in an area of the Sandy Gully, hours after he was reported missing Thursday afternoon.

"He was washed away just about 3 p.m. He was actually in the gully cutting up some tree branches to burn some coal, as a JPS unit was in the Mannings Hill area clearing tree branches off the light wire dem, then the gully just come down," his grandson, Dewayne Campbell said.

The incident occurred during a period of heavy downpour across much of eastern and central Jamaica. It was not raining in the Cassava Piece section of the gully, where Campbell was gathering the branches, however, a body of raging water came from Mannings Hill in St Andrew, where it was raining heavily, and swept him away. This comes on the back of a would-be tragedy in Trench Town last Friday, had it not been for the heroic action of 24-year-old Tremayne Brown, who valiantly jumped into a flooded gully, to save 12-year-old Renaldo Reynolds from drowning.

Marshall was to have no saviour, however, as the debris-filled water was too strong for him. He was carried nearly five miles in the raging gully waters to his death.


Search-and-rescue mission


Immediately after the incident, family members told The Gleaner that they reported the matter to the police before mounting a search-and-rescue mission.

"We search for miles in the gully, but it got dark real quick, so we couldn't look even further. Plus, the police didn't even send a vehicle to help out with the search, even though we reported him missing," Campbell said.

"Anyway, we came back out to search for him (yesterday). We look all over the gully until we find him. Mash up, man," Campbell added, while pointing to the body lying face down at a section of the Sandy Gully near Washington Boulevard and Patrick City.

Daniel, Marshall's son, appeared to have taken his father's death the worst as he was unable to stand at one point and was taken from the scene by his sister, Carol, who spoke of the gravity of her personal loss.

"Right now, I'm feeling it, but I have to be the strong one. We were very close to him. It is just sad to see mi father like this," she said.