MOTHER KILLED BY DRUNK DRIVER
By STACY MOORE Monday, September 2 2013
FOUR-year-old Abigail Joseph was thrown from her mother’s arms and landed almost 20 feet off the road when a drunk driver slammed into them along Palymra Link Road, San Fernando, on the night of Independence Day.
Abigail, who like many other young children, would have started school for the first time today survived and remains warded at the San Fernando General Hospital. Tragically, her mother Denyse Joseph, 39, died on the spot.
The driver sped off after he knocked down the woman and her little girl, but later gave himself up to officers at the San Fernando Police Station. The 44-year-old man failed a breathalyser test administered by officers.
According to police reports, at about 7.30 pm, a yellow Nissan Laurel car swerved off the road and struck Joseph and her daughter.
Joseph, who lived at Gangaram Road, New Grant, Princes Town, had driven to Palmyra Village with her four children to spend the Independence night with relatives. Her husband Richard, 43, was at work at Atlantic LNG, Point Fortin.
Eyewitnesses said the mother had parked her car, joining a line of vehicles lining Palmyra Link Road where many gathered to view the fireworks set off from on top San Fernando Hill, as part of the Independence Day celebrations. Three of her children, Jason, 13, Charissa, nine, Ann, six, had walked ahead of her and got safely to their relatives’ house.
Joseph, carrying Abigail, was walking alongside other parked vehicles, when the the Laurel slammed into her, knocking her daughter out of her arms.
Her husband yesterday said he was told Joseph was close to entering the premises of her relatives’ home when she was knocked down.
“She did not even get to reach unto the gap entrance of the house. She was not even crossing the road and was knocked down. My wife and daughter were at the side of the roadway where it was supposed to be safe,” Richard cried, wiping his tears.
Richard said when he arrived at the scene of the accident, his wife’s body was covered on the road. Little Abigail had been taken to the San Fernando General Hospital by Emergency Health Services where she remains warded. She sustained minor bruises but has since complained of pains to her abdominal area. Abigail, who witnessed her mother’s death, has not spoken since.
“She has not said one word. I think she is in shock, she saw her mother die in front of her,” Richard said.
A CT Scan and X-ray tests were done on the little girl, and Richard said he was told that “everything was okay” but Abigail was kept at the hospital for observation.
Richard said his wife and children did not go to Palmyra to view the fireworks but went to visit relatives.
“On holidays and vacation we visit family. There was a large family gathering there and we also had family here at our home, so everyone decided to gather at Palmyra. It just happened that there was a fireworks display so they stayed to watch it,” Richard said.
While at work, Richard received a phone call from a relative informing him that “something terrible has happened.”
“I didn’t know what to think but then when I arrived, there were police and the body of my wife. They said Denyse and Abigail were hit by a car. How do I do this? Now our four children don’t have a mother. He (the drunk driver) took my wife and robbed my children of a mother,” Richard lamented.
His said his older children were in a state of denial. Ann and Charissa were due to return to Tarrib Trace Primary School today while Jason would have started at Cowen Hamilton Secondary School. Little Abigail was also to attend a pre-school.
“Is like they are trying to tell themselves she is alive. They keep saying, ‘Mummy in hospital.’ They think she is coming home. This is so hard for me, I just spoke to Denyse (Joseph) that evening before she left home. No, no,” Richard wept.
Joseph would have celebrated her 40th birthday on October 31.
“My wife was one of the most kind-hearted persons you would ever meet,” Richard said shaking his head. They were married for 15 years. A post-mortem is expected to be performed on Joseph today.
Up to late yesterday charges were expected to be laid against the driver.