Headline — 13 May 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Rest in Peace, Young Lion!

In the early morning hours of Saturday, the news began to circulate among the Kremandala family that Evan Garnett, Jr., had been killed in a traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway, when he lost control of his car and crashed into a derelict bus that was parked on the roadside in front of Arthurs Junkyard, in the vicinity of El Cas Hardware store, around Mile 11 ½.

The 19-year-old Garnett was returning to his home in Los Lagos when the accident occurred. He was less than a mile from his home.

According to Ladyville Police, the accident occurred around 4:40 a.m., and when they arrived on the scene, they reported that they found Garnett motionless in his white Honda Accord that had been extensively damaged. Police confirmed that he had been wearing his seat belt. Evan was pronounced dead at 6:36 a.m. at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Observers surmise that if the bus that was being used as a garbage dump wasn’t parked on the side of the road perhaps the accident would not have proved fatal. Police also say that the area is a dangerous one and that every year at least two or three fatal accidents occur in that exact location.

Garnett is the grandson of Kremandala chairman Evan X Hyde. His mother, Jacinta Hyde, is Amandala’s business manager. He is the son of Evan “Duck” Garnett, a teacher at St. John’s College, who was an iconic basketball star in the heydays of Belize’s semipro basketball.

Although his life was short, he appeared to have touched everyone he came in contact with due to his radiant personality – his humility, his friendliness and unassuming attitude toward life. Garnett was a gem, a special person to all who knew him personally.

His death has triggered a massive outpouring of grief from his many friends and acquaintances, on the social media pages, on the radio, and in the streets. On Saturday night his friends held a candlelight vigil in front of the zinc fence at Kremandala on Partridge Street.

Evan “Mose” Hyde, the host of KREM’s Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes (WUB), described his nephew as a “young lion.”

“He was a shining star without the need of a microphone or a camera,” said Mose, in a voice evidently still attempting to come to terms with the family’s tragic loss.

Evan Garnett, Jr., was a second year student at St. John’s College Junior College.

Mose said that Garnett was so loved that an impromptu basketball tournament organized by the youths in Los Lagos was held in his honor on Sunday.

“Evan has lived in such a way, that even at the short time of nineteen years, he has touched many people. Evan was such a special young man—his smile shone so brightly. He was such a beautiful soul. His journey was filled with so many possibilities,” Mose Hyde said. “Our Young Lion, our shining star. Sleep well, Evan.”

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