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Two funeral services for Morton

By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH Thursday, March 8 2012

The body of West Indian cricketer Runako Morton, who died in a car accident on Sunday night, is expected to be flown back to his native island of Nevis on Tuesday after a memorial service at a church in south Trinidad, a cricketing friend of the deceased batsman told Newsday yesterday.

Joseph Parry, the Premier of Nevis is expected to meet with Morton’s relatives on the island today to discuss how he can assist with funeral arrangements.

Morton died instantly when the car he was driving veered off the road and slammed into a utility pole.

The accident took place around 10.30 pm on Sunday, police reports state, as the 33-year-old batsman of Crystal View, Princes Town, was driving south along the Solomon Hochoy Highway near the Chase Village Flyover.

An autopsy done on the body Tuesday at the San Fernando mortuary revealed that Morton died as a result of shock and hemorrhage consistent with a vehicular accident. The right side of his rib cage was said to have been crushed in the accident, and some of his vital organs punctured. The autopsy done by Dr Hubert Daisley, was witnessed by the deceased cricketer’s wife, Leiselle.

At the time of the accident, Morton was returning from his club’s (Queen’s Park) celebrations following victory over TTEC in the National Sunday League on Sunday night.

Morton leaves to mourn his wife Leiselle and three children, eight-year- old Kalika, three-year-old Makario, and 18-month-old Demika.

Leiselle yesterday declined comment on the tragedy, saying briefly:

“I would not be able to make any comment at this time since it is very hard for me right now. Hopefully by the weekend I’ll say something to the media,”

Asked about a date for the funeral, she said West Indies Players Association’s president Dinanath Ramnarine would be issuing an official statement of the details.

All calls to Ramnarine’s phone went unanswered yesterday.

Morton’s wife had earlier revealed that she was her husband’s biggest cricket fan and attended all his matches. She also described Morton as a dedicated husband and father who was totally involved in the life of his three children.

“He would always attend the children’s sports meeting,” she said.

In March of last year, Morton and Leeward Islands all-rounder, Tonito Willet, were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. A police report stated that the two cricketers were arrested after police intercepted a Nissan B-14 motorcar in which they were travelling and found a black plastic bag containing 500 grammes of marijuana. The cricketers were subsequently charged with the offence. Last Thursday, the matter was heard in a Port-of-Spain court and Morton was freed of the allegations.

Kendell Dottin, godfather to Morton’s son Makario, revealed that the cricketer was elated with the outcome of the case.

“Friday when he (Morton) came, I talked to him in the yard here (St Madeline). You know it had the little court matter with him, he came and said ‘Oh God, bro, is a good thing to be a free man again, it is a good thing to be a free man again. I have nothing hanging over my head,” Dottin said. He added, “He was happy boy, he say we have to celebrate. It (charges) held him down for so long, he couldn’t play international cricket. He was looking forward to return.”

Dottin’s mother Valgean, 62, said Morton was “like my son” and broke down as she too recalled speaking to him on Sunday morning.

“I told him to be careful on the road and take his time,” she said with tears streaming down her face.

On Sunday, Morton had visited her and was showing off a photo of his daughter, Kalika, she said.

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