AIRPORT–Workers at Princess Juliana International Airport SXM heard screams and commotion outside the terminal’s Arrivals entrance, when a two-year-old boy by the name of Gene Esby was hit by a shuttle bus and died as a result of his instant injuries on Saturday morning.
Father Jean Esby in an invited comment told The Daily Herald on Sunday that the incident was the worst experience of his life. On Saturday, Jean drove his jeep with his wife and two sons to the airport to meet up with a friend close to the Departure Hall.
“I was talking to my friend outside the jeep…Gene was playing outside; my friend bottle of water fell on the ground and Gene ran after it. Out of nowhere this Avis Shuttle bus hit my son and continued driving. He told me that he didn’t see my son but I do not believe that. He had to see him; now my son is gone,” said a distraught Jean on Sunday.
He eagerly awaits the outcome of the Police investigation and wants justice for his son. The driver is believed to be a young man who works for Avis car rental for some time now. Supervisors of the company were present while he cooperated with Police giving account of what took place in his eyes.
Gene Esby would have been three-years-old on October 14. Investigators cornered off the section where the incident took place until they were able to take countless witness’ statements trying to map out what happened on the Saturday morning. The incident occurred at 9:30am.
Police spokesman Chief inspector Ricardo Henson issued a press statement on Sunday citing the incident as an accident. “Dr. Mercuur arrived on the scene shortly after and pronounced the death of the victim. Parents of the victim and the driver of the vehicle are all being questioned in connection with the investigation. No arrests have been made thus far in the investigation,” stated Henson.
Words of condolence went out throughout the weekend to the parents of the victim. “Airport SXM is disheartened to learn of the unfortunate incident that resulted in the death of a child on Saturday morning in front of the airport. Airport SXM has the safety and security of all its passengers, visitors and employees as its top priority and is assisting the local authorities who are leading the investigation. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased,” read the statement.
Minister of Youth Affairs Silveria Jacobs said, “This tragedy is one that will forever change the landscape of the lives of all involved, including the victim, his family, the driver of the van and his family as well as eyewitnesses and the community at large.
“No words can properly suffice to offer comfort at this time. It is my wish that while the investigation is ongoing that speculation be left aside out of respect for those who are mourning and in deep shock as a result of this accident. “It is also my fervent hope and prayer that they are given the emotional support necessary to deal with the aftermath of this tragedy in the days, weeks and months to come,” said Jacobs.
She continued, “While it may fade from our daily thoughts after some time, such a tragedy can continue to haunt those involved for years to come. May God grant them the faith and strength to get through this most difficult journey. All parents, guardians and institutions are asked to exercise diligence to avoid the reoccurrence of such a tragedy and others that we read about daily around the world, as we must ensure the safety and security of all citizens,” Minister Jacobs added.
Source: Daily Herald
UPDATE: Child killed by shuttle bus at airport, no arrests