Tue | Jan 25, 2022

Woman injured after falling into uncovered manhole

Published:Wednesday | July 14, 2021 | 12:06 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
An open manhole along the street in Brown’s Town, St Ann.
An open manhole along the street in Brown’s Town, St Ann.

An elderly Jamaican woman who resides abroad, broke her right shoulder after she fell into an open manhole in the vicinity of the Brown’s Town market while visiting relatives in that St Ann town recently.

She is also awaiting X-ray results on her knee to see if that, too, is broken.

The woman, Doet Allen, told The Gleaner on Monday evening that she came home to attend a funeral and to vacation before returning to Texas, where she works, babysitting her son’s children.

Allen said no one from any government agency has contacted her since the incident happened last Wednesday afternoon, and she is yet to speak to a lawyer regarding the matter as she is focused on her recovery, even though the full extent of her injury is unknown at this time.

Mayor of St Ann’s Bay Sydney Stewart, when contacted, said although it is the responsibility of the National Works Agency to ensure that manholes are covered, the St Ann Municipal Corporation has moved to have it covered because it is in close proximity to the market, on a street where a lot of vendors use.

“I came out of the market and was coming down, I didn’t even know that the hole was there, walking down and right in the hole mi end up,” Allen said.

“There was no covering, no sign, nothing; if not, I would be aware of it,” she added.

She gave an update of her injuries.

“Right now mi shoulder break. I went by the (police) station because I was in so much pain. I thought they would take me to the hospital, but when I went down there, they just take a statement and say I’m to go to the doctor. So, I called my brother and he came and picked me up and I went to the doctor. He (doctor) gave me medication and a letter to get it X-rayed. I did the X-ray Thursday morning, when I came back with the result, the shoulder broke.”

Since then, her knee, which she also hurt during the fall, has gotten worse.

“Now I can barely walk. My knee is killing me, so I went and got it X-rayed this morning,” she said. She is awaiting the result of this second X-ray.

Meanwhile, the pain, added to the inconvenience of being unable to do certain things for herself, is really taking a toll on Allen.

“I’m in pain right now; I can barely help myself how mi knee hurting me, even though I’m on painkillers. I cannot bathe myself, I can barely change (my clothes), mi cyaa lif up mi hand. Trust me, me really handicapped now. Mi cry and mi ask God why, but mi shouldn’t even question it. But that (hole) should be covered. A hole in the middle of the road? Mi mash up, mash up. If mi foot bruk, mi nuh know how mi a go manage.”

Allen is also upset because, according to her, when Jamaicans go abroad and return to invest and spend their money in Jamaica, they should be made to feel welcome.

“We go away, and we come back and we invest here. We build we house, we try fi spend we money and do everything here. When we come, man, mek we feel comfortable and happy when we come fi spend,” said Allen.

She added: “We naw go come fi fix road. Fix the road and mek when we come we set up we house and happy and nice and spend we money here. Mi kill mi self fi come here every year, and a dem yah situation yah? This nuh nice; no, it nuh nice.”