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Couple still seeking closure in son’s road death

Couple still seeking closure in son’s road death


Brian and Harriet Cruickshank say that there are more questions than answers coming out of the just concluded coroner’s inquest into the death of their son, Steffan.{{more}}

Young Steffan Cruickshank died after being involved in a vehicular accident on December 26, 2011.

The ruling coming out of the inquest, which began on October 17, was death by misadventure.

But the parents say that they are puzzled and are still seeking the truth in the matter.

“We are not vindictive people, but we just want to know the truth,” mom Harriet told SEARCHLIGHT.

The couple highlighted a few concerns arising out of the two-day inquest, which was completed last Friday, October 26, in the Mesopotamia district.

Brian Cruickshank said that they were unhappy with the procedure from the beginning.

“We were having problems up front,” Cruickshank said.

He explained that the summons was not delivered properly and that initially, he was not included as a witness in the matter, although he was on the scene of the incident.

Cruickshank told SEARCHLIGHT that he was only allowed to give testimony at the inquest after his lawyer became involved in the matter.

Harriet Cruickshank said that one of her main concerns was the omission of a person she believes to be a key witness in the matter.

Harriet contends that a nurse involved in the matter would have been able to indicate whether or not her son was dead before or after he arrived at the Levi Latham Health Centre.

Cruickshank said that it was established from the inquest that Steffan died at the health centre.

She said that the driver of the car indicated that as he attempted to take her son to the clinic in Mespo, he was advised against doing so by a nurse, who informed him that he would have done more damage trying to move him.

But she said she does not believe that her son would have been alive that long, especially as he was left on the road for a long time.

“I think she would have been important, but they were not able to get her,” Cruickshank said.

They also contend that many untruths were told during the inquest.

“There was no honesty in the inquest…the coroner’s inquest came like a disrespect; it was never an honest thing,” Brian Cruickshank said.

Harriet Cruickshank expressed the same view.

“I will have to live, but my son is dead; all those people if they tell a lie, they will always remember they tell a lie,” the woman said.

Brian and Harriet Cruickshank said that they are of the opinion that the entire process was biased.

An investigation never took place, they maintained.

They say however, that they are not looking for revenge, but just want to find out the truth to be able to move on.

Brian Cruickshank said that he was told that the ruling indicated that no one party won and the case is still open.

But mom Harriet maintained that the family had already spent so much money, taking civil action would be an expensive process and at the end it was still uncertain if they would get justice.

“We done know Steffan died … he is my son … I love him I ain’t get no justice. I leaving everything to the hand of God,” Brian said.

He did admit, however, that he was happy that he got to attend the inquest, saying that a lot of the information coming out was shocking to him.

“So, I glad I went in the inquest and hear exactly the whole story,” Brian Cruickshank said.

The entire process has taken its toll on them, the grieving couple said.

Harriet Cruickshank said that she has not been able to eat.

“It is hard for me … I have to get it out there that I did my best,” a teary eyed Cruickshank said.

“They will have to live with their lie,” she continued.

Harriet recalled her son for a brief moment, saying that her son was a good person.

“He loved people, especially old people … he would say mummy I love old people and he would do anything for anybody, even if it was someone that people laughed at … so he did not deserve that kind of death,” she said. (DD)