Day At The Track

Shock as grandmother killed

05:42 AM 29 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Crash at Vesey Street
Crash at Vesey Street
Akil Simmons Photo

A 70-year-old woman died after she was hit by her own car as she prepared to go to a harness racing event to watch her grandson compete.

Mary Brady died in an accident that involved her car near the National Equestrian Centre in Devonshire just before her 18-year-old grandson, Kiwon Waldron, raced in the traditional Boxing Day event.

Mr Waldron rushed to the scene of the tragedy on Vesey Street and the organisers were on the verge of cancelling the event when they were told the news. But grief-stricken Mr Waldron insisted the races went ahead and that he would compete as scheduled.

Charles Whited Jr, president of the Driving Horse and Pony Club, said Mr Waldron told him: “I want to race. Ineed to do it.”

Mr Whited added: “We decided to support him and went ahead.”

The incident, which left Mrs Brady trapped under her car, happened about 12.30pm. She was rushed to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital but was later pronounced dead by doctors.

Police have launched an investigation into the accident. Mr Whited told The Royal Gazette: “We were certainly prepared to call the event off.

“But it provided Kiwon the opportunity to be in his element and gave him time to think about everything.”

He said that Mrs Brady and her daughter Liz Waldron, along with Mr Waldron’s brother, Kentwan, were strong supporters of harness racing.

Mr Whited said: “Mrs Brady has been coming to the races for ever, rain or shine — to hear that it was her, everybody was in disbelief, just devastated.

“It’s a huge shock. She was part of the family. We are all walking around with very heavy hearts.

“Their family plays a huge part in harness racing in Bermuda, and everybody is just having to deal with it.”

The Boxing Day races, which said were “Bermuda’s Kentucky Derby”, has weathered tragedy before.

David Mello, a competitor, died of a heart attack in 1996 just after a race.

Mr Whited said: “As a result of that, Boxing Day is always tough. To have Mrs Brady pass away on that day certainly compounds that. It is a very close-knit family.”

He added that “everybody came running saying to keep an eye on Kiwon, there’s been a very serious accident”.

“I ran to see exactly what had happened and the rest is history. It’s a tragedy, based on the information I received, I kind of knew that the outcome was not going to be good.”

Mr Whited said: “When something happens within our organisation, it affects all of us. I called the committee together and it was very emotional for us all.”

He said that he had spoken to the Waldron family yesterday.

Mr Whited added: “It’s starting to sink in and the boys are just coming to grips with it.

“Unfortunately, that’s just part of life — we never plan on it. But under these circumstances, it was such a shock. But we have to stick together and be strong for family when they need you. That what we do.”

Mr Whited said that a memorial for Mrs Brady would be held.

He added: “We will definitely be doing something in memory of Mary Brady. We will take time to recognise her support and her family’s support over all these years.”

By Jonathan Bell

Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette

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