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Drag-racing crash victim died on eve of son’s birthday

Published:Friday | August 5, 2022 | 12:11 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Patrick Pinnock, Ashley Findley-Forbes, and their son Lyricue.
Patrick Pinnock, Ashley Findley-Forbes, and their son Lyricue.

Ashley Findley-Forbes, the victim of a freak Vernamfield drag-racing crash on July 17, died hours before her son’s fifth birthday.

Her son’s father, Patrick Pinnock, is still cursing fate that the celebratory plans for their son Lyricue’s birthday were thwarted - the usually festive day turning into a time of mourning.

Pinnock has praised the late woman as an “excellent mom”. He is still struggling to explain to their son that his mother will never return home.

He still laments her decision to attend the event.

“She shouldn’t have left. She should have been here with me. She should have been at the football game with me,” said Pinnock, a soccer star who recently participated in the Porus night football festival that climaxed in July.

“She likes singing, dancing, modelling. She don’t like no car racing ... . She doesn’t, so my first reaction was that she was not supposed to be there.”

Waves of shock and outrage convulsed the nation in the wake of the tragedy when the driver of a Toyota Supra motor car lost control of the vehicle after picking up a skid and careered into spectators. The driver, along with four other persons, was injured and taken to hospital. Findley-Forbes succumbed to her injuries while being treated.

Pinnock is still in disbelief that his life will never be the same. At age 35, he was finally realising his dreams and playing football with a New Kingston club.

“That was my best moment in life. That was easily the happiest day of my life to be accomplishing a dream that was considered lost. Then I got a call from my aunt that Ashley met in an accident at Vernamfield,” he said.

Though jolted by the news, Pinnock said he was optimistic that she would pull through during surgery.

Hours later, he was not prepared for the blow to the gut he received. Pinnock said he is yet to grasp the fact that Findley-Forbes has died.

Even his mother fainted when she learnt of Findley-Forbes’ death.

“My mother love Ashley more than how she love mi,” he said, adding that Ashley was the daughter his mother never had.

Pinnock, who wept openly during the interview at his home in Whitney Turn, Manchester, said though his child’s mother had ended their relationship and got married, he still held her dear to his heart.

The footballer, who is also a recording artiste known as Cue Pue, said that he and Ashley met and bonded through a mutual love for music.

Speaking of his seven-year-long relationship with her, Pinnock said: “It was a fairy tale, Cinderella-type of rock-star love story ... . Something weh Disney would a write ‘bout,” he said.

But their union hit an all-time low two years ago.

“It was a horrible time for all entertainers. No shows, we nah make no money. ... She was looking out for herself and her child because my future looked really bleak. I did not take it well,” he said.

“Everybody is mourning Ashley’s death now, but I’ve been mourning the loss of my baby mom since 2020. I’ve been crying almost every night ... pillows soaked.”

Pinnock has blasted the organisers of the event, arguing that more safety measures should have been installed.

“If you’re gonna have car racing, build barriers along the sides of the road so in the case of an accident, people are not at risk.

“You can’t have couple tyres to protect people. How can tyres stop a car?” Pinnock questioned.

In a statement, drag-race organiser Kenneth ‘Kent T’ Timoll said that it was “unfortunate and regrettable” that Findley-Forbes died and others were injured despite the organisation “taking all reasonable steps to ensure their safety”.

Timoll said all necessary and mandatory precautions sanctioned by the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club, the governing body for motor sport, to ensure spectator safety were followed.