Crash victim’s plight

Four years after initiating a lawsuit against an insurance company, the only survivor of the October, 2015 Two Mile Hill horror crash, in which four friends died, is waiting for the hearing to start.

The already severely injured 32-year-old Nakisha Shepherd suffered another devastating blow when her father Richard Holder, part of her support system, died recently without getting the chance to testify. He was scheduled to give evidence in December as to the part he played in Nakisha’s care but the start date was shifted again.

The matter was again adjourned until May this year and he died between February 9 and 10, putting an end to his claims for the assistance he provided.

Sources said his death is having a severe negative impact on Nakisha, who is obtaining grief counselling and psychiatric counselling.

Holder was once the familiar face at the Abed’s Store in Swan Street, The City, where he was assistant manager before he was made redundant and took up taxi driving.  

Nakisha’s life took a devastating turn less than two weeks after graduating with an accounting degree from the University of the West Indies, when she sustained life-threatening injuries in a single-vehicle crash when the car she was a passenger in, collided with a tree on Two Mile Hill, St Michael, and ended up on its top.

Her two cousins, the driver Shameka Shepherd, 23, a dental assistant studying nursing, and Shakira Shepherd, 22, a hostess, along with friends Wavney Johnson, 25, and Carey Brathwaite, 18, died.

Barbadians woke to news of the early Sunday morning road deaths of the young St Philip residents, with Wavney, of Atlantic Park, Shakira and Shameka, of Long Bay, dying at the scene, yards from Ilaro Court while Carey, of Breezy Hill, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

It was a nightmarish end to the birthday celebration for Shameka.

Nakisha spent a period under sedation in the Intensive Care Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in a life-and-death struggle and is faced with having to receive permanent round-the-clock care involving physiotherapy and other treatment that has been outlined in court documents.

She still suffers the effects of the brain injury, has delayed recall, problems with her speech, hearing and sight, walks unsteadily and uses crutches. There’s been an initial interim payment ordered by the court to cover Nakisha’s physical and mental care.

King’s Counsel Philip Pilgrim lodged the case on March 26, 2020, on behalf of Nakisha, whose mother is handling her legal affairs. The defendant, Consumers Guarantee Insurance, which bought over Sun General Insurance Inc., filed its defence to the claim on June 12, 2020.

Court documents show that the defendant admitted liability in the matter in which Shameka was driving the car and Leslie Haynes KC is appearing for the defendant.

The matter was first set down for hearing on December 14 and 15, 2022, and then March 31, 2023, and was moved again to commence on December 12, 13 and 14, 2023.

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