Officer Killed In Car Crash

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The relatives, colleagues and friends of Corporal Ognel Browne Jr. who died tragically in a vehicular accident over the weekend are still coming to grips with his death.
Browne Jr., an almost 20-year member of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, succumbed to injuries he sustained in a traffic collision on the Friars Hill Road, in the vicinity of the Mount Pleasant Development.
A police report indicates that Browne Jr. of Langfords was driving his Burgundy Hyundai Tucson Motor Jeep, A36567, northwards on that portion of Friars Hill Road, currently under construction, when at approximately 3 a.m., he is believed to have lost control of his vehicle and collided with a tree on the eastern side of the road.
Fire Fighters from the St. John’s Fire Station responded to the scene and the jaws of life were deployed to remove his body from the wreckage. He was pronounced dead at around 4:25 a.m by Dr. Delrose Christian, the district doctor.
Browne’s cousin, Jessica Thompson, told OBSERVER media yesterday that the family is in shock and they are struggling to come to terms with the death of the father of two who celebrated his 43rd birthday on February 18.
“He was loving, caring and a no-nonsense person. Sometimes, when I’m having a ‘don’t-care day’ where I don’t care what I say and what I do, he doesn’t stand for ignorance; he always led me to the right path. Both of us just celebrated our birthday on the same day,” Thompson said.
She recalled the devastating moment when she realised that Browne Jr. had died.
       Thompson said that she was at a casino in the city when, at approximately 2 a.m., a strange feeling came over her and she summoned a taxi to take her home.
While at home, Thomspon said that that strange feeling did not leave her and the grieving relative recalled taking a pill to help her sleep only to wake hours later to see “R.I.P. Browne Jr. on social media.
“I called a female officer three times and she didn’t answer, so I called another cousin to ask about the [identity of the deceased officer], and he promised to send a picture, but I was so uneasy waiting. When he sent the picture, my neighbours said that I woke them up with my screaming. It’s like I knew that something was wrong and that’s why I left the casino,” she added.
Thompson said Browne Jr. is originally from Liberta and was raised in Ottos. He is the father of a son and a daughter, both under eleven years of age.
Browne Jr., who was last attached to the Willikies Police Station and used to work at a nightclub in the evenings, was said to have almost reached the Langfords home that he shared with his girlfriend when the deadly crash occurred.
The deceased, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, became the country’s first road fatality for 2018.
 Initial reports suggest that Browne Jr. may have fallen asleep.
Meanwhile, tributes poured into social media for the police officer that many described as fun- loving, respectful and kind.
“The Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda is mourning the loss of one of its own, and the Commissioner of Police, on behalf of the rank and file of the police force has expressed his condolences to the family of Corporal Ognel Browne,” the strategic communication of the police force said.
OBSERVER media tried unsuccessfully to contact Browne’s parents.

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