January 9, 2009
Bowman: ‘My wife is not going to die in vain’

Was the retaining wall at Ratho Mill which fell and crushed 67-year-old Patricia Jack Bowman last September built according to plans approved by the Planning Division?{{more}}

There is still no word – but the wall is set to be rebuilt with a design to be done by the Public Works Department.

“We are having discussions with the owner,” said Chief Engineer Brent Bailey, when SEARCHLIGHT inquired earlier this week.

He also told SEARCHLIGHT that there are plans to demolish what remains of the wall.

Bailey said that while he couldn’t speak much about the ongoing investigation, he again gave the assurance that a thorough investigation is being done.

“The investigation will be thorough…I can’t say anything about the design of the previous wall because it is an ongoing legal matter,” Bailey said.

Questions have been asked and continue to be asked as to whether or not the collapse of the wall, after days of heavy rainfall, was assisted by faulty engineering.

Who approved the plan for the wall? Was the wall built according to these approved plans?

These are the questions that remain unanswered.

Jack-Bowman was crushed to death in her black Nissan Pulsar car – a gift from her husband two years earlier, at around midday on Friday, September 19, 2008.

Family and friends of Jack-Bowman, including her husband Alban, endured hours of agony until at around 8 that evening, when the crushed car was hauled out of the rumble, with her lifeless body pinned inside it.

“My wife is not going to die in vain,” Alban Bowman told SEARCHLIGHT earlier this week.

He said that he is still determined to find out about the history of the wall’s construction, among other things, and what led to its collapse, when eight inches of rain lashed the island between Thursday, September 18, and Saturday, September 20.

Bowman said that he has not heard anything about the state of the investigation only that in the wake of the incident, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves announced that there would be a coroner’s inquest into his wife’s death.

The retaining wall in question is part of the Ratho Mill property on which the house belonging to Alex and Lisa Jack stands.