By Kadeem Joseph
Well-disciplined, a devoted Christian, and a quiet and a humble firefighter is how members of the police force, specifically the Fire Department, are remembering fallen officer Constable David Roberts following his untimely passing on Friday.
The officer was involved in a freak accident on April 6 at VC Bird International Airport when a fire truck he was taking for a routine test drive accelerated uncontrollably before crashing into a ditch, based on preliminary reports.
He was rushed to Mount St John’s Medical Centre and was admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where he remained until his death.
In an emotional showing of solidarity and a long-honoured fire service tradition, officers at St John’s Fire Station lined the streets, blaring sirens, as the flashing lights illuminated the night sky on Friday.
Fire Chief Elvis Weaver told Observer that Robert’s passing was a tough blow to the department because he was not only a major part of the planning of several events, but was “an officer that was well liked” by everyone.
“He was very much involved in the church and was a spiritual man as a Seventh Day Adventist,” Weaver explained. “He would even take some of the fellow officers on hikes very often. He was an officer that was very much involved in the social aspects of the Fire Department and the police force in general.”
Weaver joined the Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney, in conveying condolences to Roberts’ family as they mourn his passing, saying their prayers remain with them in their time of grief.
He said that his department will continue to do what they can to keep his memory alive, with plans already afoot to host a hike in his memory.
Meanwhile, the fire chief said the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Roberts’ death continues.
Noting that he would not want to preempt the conclusion of the three-man investigation, Weaver said that he is hoping whatever the outcome, “nothing like this will ever happen again”.
The 42-year-old deceased fire officer last worked at Coolidge Fire Station and was part of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda for the past 11 years.