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Killed by flying wood

Friday, June 20 2008

click on pic to zoom in
Angela Mitchell, wife of Steve Mitchell is consoled by Daphne Harris, sister of Mitchell and a male relative while his three children look on at their...
Angela Mitchell, wife of Steve Mitchell is consoled by Daphne Harris, sister of Mitchell and a male relative while his three children look on at their...

LABOUR RELATIONS officer Steve Mitchell was on his way to labour day celebrations in Fyzabad yesterday when tragedy struck.

Mitchell was sitting in the front seat of a maxi taxi heading for Fyzabad when a piece of wood from a truck travelling alongside the maxi became loose, hitting Mitchell in the face. Mitchell was a NUGFW member for the past 15 years.

Dressed in his maroon union colours, Mitchell died 15 minutes later, according to police reports. At the labour day rally, NUGFW president James Lambert said he expressed condolences to Mitchell’s family and offered a minute of silence for him.

Police reports stated that at about 9 am yesterday, Mitchell and other union members were proceeding west along the Manahambre Road, Princes Town, in a maxi taxi when the incident occurred.

Police said that the truck, heading in the opposite direction, was carrying a load of lumber, when the rope slackened and one of the plank became loose.

Reports indicated that the plank sliced through the front passenger window of the maxi taxi and struck Mitchell in the face. Reports said maxi driver Leon Brown tried to signal to the driver of the truck to alert the driver to slow down to show him the hanging piece of wood but this proved futile.

When Newsday visited the home of Mitchell in Peti Cafe, Princes Town yesterday, his wife Angela was in a state of shock. She told Newsday that she was awake and she saw her husband drink his cup of coffee. He then left for Fyzabad. “After he drank his coffee he told me that he will call me when he reach. He did not get a chance to call me.” she cried.

Mitchell was the father of three children Stacy, 22 Ucal, 20 and Abi,15.

The eldest of the children described her father as a loving and caring person but he had a deep passion for labour.

“No one could explain how much my dad loved the labour movement. Every year he would look forward to go to his march.” she said.

Stacy said that they did not even ask their father if he was going to Fyzabad, saying this was understood. She said that her father was so deeply involved in the labour movements that four years ago he did an associate degree in labour. “That is how badly he loved the labour field,” she said.

“I feel as if I am dreaming, don’t tell me my daddy dead,” she said as she cried.

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