Posted on

Mother loses both sons in tragic accident at Owia

Mother loses both sons in tragic accident at Owia


Monday at Jemma Edwards’ home began like almost every other school day.

The Fancy woman was behind her two sons, trying to get them ready for school on time.

Edwards had no idea that it was the last time she would see her boys alive.

When SEARCHLIGHT spoke with Edwards at the Church of Christ building in Owia,{{more}} where a makeshift counselling station was set up, the mother of three said that her sons, Jamalie (14) and Jamal (12), were in good spirits moments before they met their tragic deaths.

“This morning, the big one (Jamalie), every minute he coming in and looking in the mirror, so I get a little vex with him and tell him the van is waiting on you, so I get a little vex with him,” Edwards recounted.

She said that the family lives a fair distance from the main road, so she hurried them off to get the van.

Shortly after leaving Fancy, the van went over an embankment in an area called Rock Gutter in Owia, where Edwards’ sons, along with two other persons died. Another individual succumbed to injuries while being transported to the Owia clinic.

Two persons were, up to press time, still reported missing, and 10 others were hospitalized.

Edwards told SEARCHLIGHT that she found out about the accident when a cry went up in the village and persons started scampering to get to Owia.

“I went to shop this morning; me hear everybody in the village ah scream and run up and down and say the school van run over the wall at Wind Blow and it go straight ah sea, and when I hear that I started to bawl, because from I hear that I know….

“I walked all the way from Fancy just crying, and I hear people say some ah dem dead, so I feel weak and I sit down first and then I start to walk and walk again.”

The grieving mother said that when she got to the area, she did not go too close to where persons had pulled her sons out of the raging sea.

She said that she was told that when the van went into the sea, Jamalie tried to pull Jamal from the van, but the younger boy was pinned in the vehicle.

She said she was told that when Jamalie finally got his brother loose, a waved rushed in and pulled them out into the ocean.

Edwards said her boys had different personalities: while Jamalie, a third form student of the North Union Secondary School was cool and calm and wasn’t troublesome, Jamal, who was in the first form at the same school, was a little hard to go with.

“But they were good boys. I loved them,” Edwards insisted.

Also the mother of a three-year-old girl, Edwards told SEARCHLIGHT that she had been receiving emotional support from family members and friends, as well as counsellors from the Ministries of Education and National Mobilization, who rushed to the scene to be with other persons who were grieving.

Although saddened by the tragedy, Edwards admitted that the reality had not quite hit her as to what had taken place.

“I can’t tell you how I feel. Is just like nothing happen. I don’t even know; I still can’t believe this happen. Is just like they are still here.”(JJ)