Sun | Dec 5, 2021

6-y-o dies, sisters injured after freak accident at beach

Published:Wednesday | August 21, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

What started out as a pleasant holiday trip to a beach in St Ann over the weekend was suddenly transformed into a nightmare for a 28-year-old father of two when a jet ski raced out of the water on to land and into his children, killing one and leaving another battling for life.

Richard Hyman's six-year-old daughter, Tonoya, was killed by a deadly blow from the jet ski, while yesterday, it remained touch and go for her four-year-old sister, Remonique.

"Jah know, mi feel it! I don't know that there is any word in the dictionary to express my feelings right now," mumbled Hyman as he spoke with The Gleaner. "I don't know anything. I am keeping my fingers crossed … . I have to put God in the midst at this time."

Bryanna, a sibling of the two girls and Hyman's stepdaughter, was also hit but sustained minor injuries, including a broken tooth. She was treated and released.

As he spoke with The Gleaner, Hyman said he was also worried about his common-law wife and the mother of the three, Latoya Virtue.

"She is, like, without life," he lamented.

Her face swollen, young Remonique was last night on a life-support system in the Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies. She had been transferred from the St Ann's Bay Hospital.

The three children, who lived with their parents in Christiana, Manchester, were spending the summer holiday in St Ann with their aunt, who decided to treat them to a day of fun.


Hyman told The Gleaner he received a telephone call about 3 p.m. on Saturday that would irrevocably change his life.

"They just told me that a jet ski had hit my three girls - my two daughters and a stepdaughter. I could not believe it," Hyman shared.

"The [jet ski] just ran into my family, who were not even in the water. Tonoya died on the spot."

Hyman, who works in Kingston and normally sees his family on weekends, had not seen his children for a few weeks since they were on holiday.

He got the news on Saturday afternoon as he was preparing for work. Hyman said he was told that the three were seated on the sand when the incident occurred.

"They were sitting on the sand. Remonique was sitting in her aunt's lap and Tonoya was sitting beside her aunt, while Bryanna was lying on the sand," he said. "I heard that the jet ski was out in the sea coming towards land."

Up to last night, The Gleaner had not received a comment from police on the incident.