Biker escapes death at breakaway; Andrew Hill residents demand repairs
Ladley Hamilton, who helped rescue a motorcyclist whose bike careered over a precipice in Andrew Hill, Clarendon, two weeks ago, has called for works and municipal authorities to take action after what he described as an avoidable accident.
The biker flew off the breakaway after trying unsuccessfully to stop on the road, which is blanketed in darkness at night.
Hamilton was alerted to the near-tragedy by his son.
Frantic phone calls were made to first responders who arrived on the scene and took the badly injured man to hospital. The crash victim survived.
Pointing out that he is now “using sleep to mark death”, Hamilton is lobbying for municipal officials to get moving before it may be too late. The breakaway occurred in 2017, and conditions worsen with each shower of heavy rainfall.
The road connects a number of Clarendon districts, including Frankfield, Grantham, Leicesterfield, Nine Turns, Effort, and Smithville, among others. Two clinics and several schools are in the vicinity of the corridor.
He has also expressed concern that children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to danger at the breakaway.
“Anyone passing who don’t know this precipice is here could fall in it … especially at nights as the place is so dark,” Hamilton told The Gleaner.
Motorist Uroy Simpson said that he knows he is taking a grave risk every time he travels there.
“Driving is dangerous ‘cause you can drop off any time. You have to have good heart to drive on this road,” he said.
“... Mi a tremble ‘cause you haffi have good faith ‘cause it can break away any time.”
Councillor for the Frankfield division, Clive Mundle, acknowledged that he was aware of the breakaway and was at the recent bike crash scene.
Mundle said that he has consistently lobbied for the authorities to address the danger zone but that that campaign has not borne fruit.
“I have been trying with great effort to get things rectified. It needs gabion baskets there to build up back the wall. Even the drains that run in the road are gone in the landslide,” he said in a Gleaner interview.
Mundle said he has raised the matter with Winston Maragh, mayor of May Pen, urging him to tour the area to understand the gravity of the problem.
However, CEO of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation, Rowhan Blake, disclosed that estimates have been conducted.
“We are seeking to utilise funding from the emergency fund to carry out the repairs,” said Blake.