Friends’ message to Hazel: ‘Ride in Peace’

Eldridge Louis died in an early morning motorcycle accident.

Eldridge Louis got set for work on the morning of Wednesday, February 2 just like any other morning. There was no way to tell it would be the last time he’d travel from his Corinth home to his office at Bank of St Lucia in Castries.
The 24-year-old, better known as Hazel, was riding his Honda CBR motorcycle just after 7am that morning when he collided with a vehicle; a Daihatsu Rocky driven by a man from Chassin, Babonneau, which had been traveling in the same direction.
According to the driver of the Daihatsu, the impact propelled Louis off the road and into a ditch near the Mega J Shopping Complex. The driver recounted his experience when he appeared on the HTS news on Wednesday evening.
“I was coming from Babonneau driving into Castries,” he said. “I was on my left side. I heard the impact on my vehicle, when I realize I saw a bike hit my vehicle and the fella summersault on the wall. When I check I park on the side and when I realize, he fell between the gutter there.”
A friend who arrived on the scene moments after the incident expressed: “I know he’s a cautious rider. I’m just surprised to hear right now that he’s dead.”
Meanwhile, only those on the scene would really know what was happening, and what was causing the heavier than usual morning traffic into Castries. News of the accident spread fast on social mediums like Twitter and Facebook, but even then it was hard to confirm whether it was in fact the well-liked Hazel Louis who’d been in the accident.
Rumours swirled all morning but all the talk served to do was keep those who knew him on edge, fearing the worst, but hoping and praying for the best. The truth only really sank in for most people when they heard the lunchtime news reports. Finally the Rest in Peace postings on his Facebook wall began to look a little more real. Hazel Louis was dead.
Friends and family seeked comfort in posting condolences on his Facebook wall, even though they knew he’d never see it. They posted anything that reminded them of Hazel, any song that could help them deal with their feelings of grief. It seemed the thing people would remember most about the ‘biker boy’ was his bright smile, and for a lot of those who knew him, his smiling face was the image they just couldn’t shake.
“The last time I saw you is when I walked into the bank and you gave me that great big, lovely smile of yours,” a friend wrote. “I’m going to cherish that smile forever.”
His page was filled with condolences with a few humorous comments mixed in as friends shared their most precious memories. If only people who passed on could look back and realize how much they were loved, and see how many people missed them when they moved on.
“Go hard or go home. It’s the way he lived that should be celebrated! Cherish the memories he brought into your lives. We only got one good ride together, but it was enough to change my opinion of you . . . just in time, brother. Ride in Peace forever!”
Friends never imagined waking up to such awful news and many said they wouldn’t believe the news until they saw for themselves; until then it simply “wasn’t true.”
“I’m speechless. I can’t believe it. I started crying but then I realized riding was your thing. That’s something you loved to do. No matter how many times you got knocked off
you still got back up. That’s a sad way to die but only God knows why he took you so early.”
It wasn’t just people saying good things about someone who’d passed away. They were all bringing out traits in him that everyone who knew him could relate to.  A friend wrote that he would never forget Hazel’s “gentle smile, his sense of humour and kind eyes that could see the good in us all.”
Hazel’s page was flooded with messages from former schools mates, fellow Samarians (St Mary’s College Boys) and Monroe college students.

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