Trinidad: Tragic End For 12 Year Old; Boy Dies After Falling On Knife

(TT GUARDIAN) – It was a parent’s worst nightmare for Jayloy Clarke-Toney and her husband, Arnold Clarke, as they witnessed their 12-year-old son Tariq bleed out as he awaited help after falling onto a knife.

Tariq, who lived with his parents and siblings at 6th Company, Indian Walk, died at the Princes Town District Health Facility (PTDHF) at 7.50 pm Monday.

Investigators believe he accidentally fell onto a knife he used to cut coconut at the back of his home that evening and severed a vein. A medical report showed Tariq suffered a three-centimetre-long puncture wound, approximately eight centimetres deep on the right side of the neck.

Medical staff believe he fell onto the knife based on the trajectory of the injury and other factors. However, investigators said they would need the results of an autopsy carded for later this week to confirm the suspicion. Police said Tariq was home with his parents picking and cutting coconuts from a tree at the back of the house. He opened and carried a coconut for his mother, Jayloy Toney-Clarke, and returned to the backyard.

Toney-Clarke and her husband, Arnold, were in their bedroom around 5.30 pm when she went to the window and called Tariq to come inside and bathe. She looked away, and a minute later, Tariq came into her bedroom holding a bleeding wound on his neck, saying, “Look what happened, Mom. Look what happened.”

According to police, Toney-Clarke called for an ambulance, but after waiting some time, she contacted her brother at 6.30 pm, who came from Manahambre Road. He and his relatives put Tariq in a van and took him to the health facility. When they arrived at 7.08 pm, Tariq was unresponsive, and despite efforts to treat the wound, he later died.

Cpl Clarence and PC Thomas of the Princes Town CID responded to Tariq’s death and took statements and a medical report from staff at the health facility. Undertakers took the boy’s body to the San Fernando General Hospital mortuary.

Crime Scene Investigators visited Tariq’s home to process and photograph the scene and took custody of a wooden-handled knife. Neighbours and relatives gathered around the family home yesterday to offer support. A traumatised Clarke-Toney had to pause several times while Princes Town Criminal Investigations Department detectives interviewed her. The family declined an interview with journalists, saying their grief was too much.