Family, friends and acquaintances of Jaffa at the Oval chef Joe Brown are taking to social media and other platforms to pay tribute to him.
Brown, along with bpTT manager Joanna Banks, were killed when a car ploughed into a group of 14 cyclists along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway earlier Saturday.
One of the first persons to do so was Arrive Alive’s Sharon Inglefield.
“Our condolences go out to the families of the loved ones lost on the Beetham this morning! Our condolences to the cycling fraternity! We are devastated by today’s events. Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” Inglefield said in a statement.
Noting that Brown had sponsored Arrive Alive’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims over the years, she said it was “tragic he should lose his life on our roads.”
“Our roads continue to be a dangerous environment and we all have a responsibility, more particularly drivers, to respect vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians,” she said.
Inglefield said unfortunately, to Arrive Alive’s knowledge, T&T does not have independent trained crash investigators to analyses the types of accidents like the one that occurred today.
“However, we have faith that the TTPS will follow the necessary procedures and conduct a thorough investigation to the best of their ability, including breathalysing the driver, and examine all the cameras in the vicinity of this fatal collision,” Inglefield said.
Brown was also an avid sports enthusiast. Apart from cycling with the Slip¬stream Cy¬cling Club, he played rugby with Northerns.
Executive chef at Buzo Osteria Italiana, Cristian Grini, also paid tribute to Brown.
“Trinidad & Tobago just lost a piece of their culinary heart, the main pillar of our industry and truly an Iconic Master!” Grini wrote in an online post honouring his friend.
“...and from me ...Chef, I have no words, I am sure you reading this as you can read each one of the messages in the whole country right now, I am speechless, my heart is broken, I feel the pain of each one of your family members included your Jaffa’s family....because we both know how we feel about our team, they are our family, they are US, no matter how hard we are on them is all about passion and we deeply care and love them, we will be there for each one of them in time of need, count in all of us in the industry Chef, we will make sure they’ll have our support.”
He added: “Our flags are down today and our knifes are sharp-less! Take care Joe, I am sure we’ll meet again one day! Rip Chef.”
Brown and Banks, a manager at bpTT, were killed after a car ploughed into them opposite the Beetham Landfill as they were heading east along the highway. They were part of a 14-member Slipstream Cycling Club team on their usual Saturday morning training ride to east Trinidad, after leaving the Queen’s Park Oval around 6.15 am. Banks died at the scene while Brown was pronounced dead on arrival at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.
Beetham residents who came out to assist the crash victims did not initially see Banks because she fell in a ditch full of water and overgrown with tall grass. In fact, her teammates were giving most of their attention to Brown, who took the brunt of the impact from the collision, until someone spotted Banks and two of her teammates pulled her out of the ditch. It is not certain if Banks died from injuries sustained in the collision or drowned. Brown’s body was carried for several metres by the out-of-control Kia Spectra before it ran into a wall at the side of the roadway and stopped.
Driver Junior McIntyre told police he got a flat tyre, causing him to lose control of the car and run off the roadway into the cyclists. One of the cyclists said he heard a screeching noise before the car hit the group and tossed many of them into the nearby ditch.
Dr Ajit Kuruvilla and Adelino Perreira were also taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
More on this story as information comes to hand.