Conditions could not have been better for the St Lucia Moto X Club season opener Sunday afternoon at Cul de Sac. With that in mind, it’s hard to comprehend that in less than an hour, this thrilling breath-taking event literally took a turn for the worse for two experienced riders with the local club.
Sunday was supposed to be a festive exciting occasion and from early indications it certainly was. There were with riders from Martinique and St Lucia battling it out in various classes, in front of a huge enthusiastic crowd. This being the first race of the year, the riders were overzealous and hyped up with Oswald Simon who is a police officer, being among the featured riders. He competed with five other riders in the “A” Class, in a race he led in the early going but now, will forever never cross the finish line.
Unfortunately this will go down as Black Sunday for the St Lucia Moto X Club, following a tragic accident on the dirt track that claimed the life of Oswald Simon. Another competitor in the “B” Class Ja-Mallen Alcindor, also required medical attention after an earlier fall, but has since been released from hospital. President of the St Lucia Moto X Club, Terroll Compton who was among the first on the scene tried comforting Simon, who at the time was completely off the dirt track, lying flat on his back, motionless, with the motorcycle nearby.
I interviewed Compton a short distance away from where the tragic accident took place. Here’s what he had to say. Keep in mind at the time of the interview, he was not aware of the severity of Simon’s injury. He was rushed to Victoria Hospital by an ambulance stationed at the event, but unfortunately passed away on Monday.
As you would expect Compton had mixed emotions and started out by saying: “Well today is a nice start for us but at the same time a sad start. So far we have had two incidents. Two first place riders in both Class “A” and Class “B” that of Ja-Mallen Alcindor Class “B” and Oswald Simon Class “A.” Both seem to have hit hard in the sense of the jump for Ja-Mallen, but even more so for Oswald Simon who had a hand full of throttle and went over the boom. In general it was our first start. We have a lot of youngsters and up and coming riders so on that note it’s good, but on the circumstances thus far we are not looking good. Thank God we have the EMT Life’s on hand and thank God we have the Red Cross with us providing services. If it was not for that, I think we would have been in a serious situation especially with Oswald Simon. We wish him a speedy and best recovery.”
When I asked Compton whether the track had been altered in any way he replied: “It was slightly altered with one jump, but the jump in question that threw him off has been there for some time. He was in the lead, did not have any pressure on him. I am not sure what happened there, but to be honest clearly he had a smooth lead. You know he could have had breakfast put it at that, enough of a lead on the guys.”
Having been a competitor himself Compton went on to say: “Sometimes the adrenalin is flowing your hand gets what you call the hand pump, where holding the throttle can be very detrimental and you have to know how to control it. I think he landed badly, he appeared to have saved it, but still had a hand full of throttle and the bike just took off underneath him.” Following the two incidents The St Lucia Moto X Club by way of their Facebook post, asked everyone to pray for the recovery of their two riders and also put out an urgent call for blood donors for SRP 15 Oswald Simon.
The club also sent out the following press release on Wednesday that stated: It’s a sad day for Motocross and by extension the St Lucia Moto X Club and the biking fraternity. We are deeply saddened at the passing of our colleague, friend, father, and mentor, Coach Oswald Simon, also known to many as Bertrum or Official. The entire biking and sporting clubs both here and overseas, have expressed their deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Simon had a long history with the St Lucia Moto X Club. He served as Vice President in 2010 and was President in 2012-2014. He was always one to think outside the box. His motto was “don’t tell me it can’t be done tell me what I must do to make it happen.” With this mind set he was able to accomplish many visions he had for the club and overcame many hurdles which stunned the growth of Motocross.
The joy of his presence and company among riders will be greatly missed. His absence will most definitely create a great void and loss in the sport of Motocross. He will be greatly missed. The association held a candle light vigil at the track in Cul-de-Sac on Wednesday from 5:00 pm for the late Oswald Simon affectionately known to all as Official.