April 9, 2010
Freak accident mars Chateaubelair donkey wedding

Eighteen-year-old Andy Lyttle of Petit Bordel is in high spirits, grateful to be alive and even making fun of himself after being involved in a freak accident that resulted in his right middle finger being amputated two weeks ago.{{more}}

When SEARCHLIGHT visited him at the male surgical ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), Lyttle said that he is happy to be alive and that the accident happened too quickly for him to recall, but he remembers being trapped under the vehicle.

Lyttle said that he is hoping to get on with his life and to get a job.

The accident occurred at Sharpes Park in Chateaubelair where a mock wedding and hanging was being held.

Just as the activity was wrapping up, a Suzuki Escudo vehicle rolled off the road and into the crowd, injuring Andy and a woman who was taken to MCMH and released.

The mock wedding and hanging were organized by promoter Gilbert “Hoghole” John who said that his prayers go out to the accident victims and that he wishes them a speedy recovery. John also expressed thanks to his supporters and fans. “This was not to pull anybody down, is only entertainment,” he said.

John said that this is his third such event and he hopes to become St Vincent and the Grenadines’ (SVG) number one promoter of this sort.

On Valentine’s Day, a Chateaubelair man in his sixties was taken into custody by the police after he was found naked and in a compromising position with a jenny donkey, by the animal’s owner. After spending overnight in the lock-up, the accused was released without being charged.

Prominent Historian Dr Edgar Adams told SEARCHLIGHT that mock hangings are an integral part of the Vincentian traditional knowledge and experience. Adams said that from as far back as the plantation days to the 1970s, mock hangings were popular. “You see, when an overseer or prominent member of society commits rape or incest and the authorities couldn’t touch him, a mock hanging was the only remedy; a form of popular justice,” the eminent historian said.

The effigy and donkey were made by local artist Garcia Johnson. They were paraded through the town on the tray of a pick-up truck in a motorcade with horns blaring before the mock wedding and hanging took place.