CHILDREN ASK DAD: WHERE MUMMY?
By Azard Ali and STACY MOORE Tuesday, September 3 2013
A South driver has been charged for driving under the influence of alcohol in the road death of a mother of four at Palmyra Village, San Fernando on Independence night.
The 44-year-old man is due to appear before a San Fernando magistrate today for the offence after failing a breathalyser test administered to him by officers of the San Fernando Police Station. He surrendered to police after knocking down Denyse Joseph, 39, who was carrying her four-year-old daughter Abigail, as she was walking to a relative’s home at Palmyra Link Road, at about 7 pm last Saturday.
Joseph died on the spot, and Abigail miraculously suffered minor injuries after landing several feet away after the man, driving a yellow Nissan Laurel car, struck them.
Although the man has been charged with driving under the influence, he has not been charged for causing the death of the young mother by dangerous driving.
The police are awaiting instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions on if to charge the man for causing the woman’s death.
Joseph’s children yesterday struggled to understand that she has died and continue to ask their father, Richard, this question: “When is mummy coming home?”
Richard, 43, told Newsday he is trying to comfort his children by telling them, “Mummy gone to heaven”.
Sadly, his two older daughters, Ana, six, and Charissa, nine, still believe their mother will return to their home at Gangaram Road, New Grant, Princes Town.
“I try and try to explain to them that mummy died and she is now in heaven, but right after I tell them, they would cry, then after they would ask the same question again, ‘When mummy coming home, Daddy?’ I don’t know what else to say,” Richard wept as he spoke to Newsday yesterday.
He and his wife of 15 years also have a son Jason, 13, as well as Abigail, who remains warded under observation at the San Fernando General Hospital. Their older children, who were also with Joseph on the night she died, had already safely entered their relative’s home when the accident occurred.
Abigail, who sustained bruises about her body, including her hands and knees, would have started preschool yesterday while her sisters Ana and Charissa were due to attend classes at Torrib Trace Primary School. Jason is a student of Cowen Hamilton Secondary School.
When Newsday visited the ward yesterday, Richard was holding Abigail on his lap feeding her grapes. He said Abigail was eating but her appetite had not fully returned.
Abigail has started speaking, he said.
“But she too has asked questions. Yesterday (Sunday) while her aunt, Shivanne, was here at the hospital with her, she kept asking for her mother,” Richard said. He said he did not know what Abigail’s aunt said but was sure she gave the little girl an appropriate reply.
“She (Abigail) does not say much but her words have increased which is an improvement,” Richard said. He said he read a book to his daughter and she responded asking him questions about the story.
“I took her for a walk outside the ward and from there we could see the sky and she was counting birds. It was nice to see her happy and smiling,” Richard said. Abigail was expected to be discharged late yesterday evening. Richard said his son, Jason, is trying to keep his routine normal but worries the boy is in denial about his mother’s death. Yesterday, Jason, a Form Two student, woke up early, and got dressed for school.
“Usually his mother would be the one to wake him up. But yesterday he set the alarm clock and woke up, I even awoke with the alarm clock and he got dressed and went to school,” Richard said. An autopsy performed by pathologist Dr Hughvon Des Vignes at the Forensic Science Centre, St James yesterday revealed Joseph died from blunt cranial cerebral trauma.
Joseph is to be laid to rest tomorrow following a funeral service at the Mt Elvin Baptist Church in New Grant. Cpl Jagdeo of the Ste Madeline Police Station is continuing investigations.