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Transport operator drowns

Published:Monday | February 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM


The death of Burke's Transport Managing Director Alric Burke, who drowned in the Kingston Harbour yesterday after his car careened off the Harbour View main road, has been dubbed a blow to the tourism and entertainment industries.

"I am absolutely devastated by his death; he was a very important part of the fabric of my life," stated film producer Maxine Walters.

"He rose head and shoulders above others and I will miss him for the rest of my life, because, more than anything else, he was my friend," she added.

It is believed that Burke, 54, a member of the largest transportation group in the country, the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association, left a wedding reception in St Thomas at approximately 3:30 a.m. yesterday. On reaching near the Caribbean Cement Company, he fell asleep at the steering wheel of the silver Toyota Camry he was driving, ending up in the sea. A fisherman passed the car around 6:30 a.m. and alerted the police.

Reports are that Burke spoke with one of his drivers about 4 a.m. in Goshen, St Thomas. Burke reportedly told the driver, "I am feeling sleepy, but I am going to push it to get in. I drank two Red Bulls (a popular energy drink)."

JamVenture's Dollis Campbell, a close friend, said: "Alric must have been one of the most careful drivers to work in the industry. He never drank an ounce of alcohol," said Campbell, who went to the scene of the accident.

Former Jamaica Trade and Invest film commissioner, Del Crooks, also expressed admiration.

"He was the ultimate professional; you could give him an assignment and not worry," said Crooks.