ALTHOUGH he was robbed a few years ago while working as a ‘ph’ taxi driver, Brian Hackett braved the crime-riddled streets to financially support his family.
With his wife of 22 years unable to work as a result of renal failure, Hackett stayed at home to take care of her and the household during the day, and worked at nights to earn a living.
Thieves shot and killed him early Sunday and stole his car, the dumped his body roadside in Princes Town, leaving his family heart-broken and without an income earner.
A grieving Natasha Lewis spoke to the Express in a telephone interview on Monday as she received dialysis treatment at a medical centre in San Fernando.
Lewis said she is heart-broken over the loss of her husband and the father of their three children, aged 21, 15 and 12 years old.
Hackett, also known as “Biggie”, also has two older children from a previous relationship.
“I am not coping well at all. I am on treatment at the moment. On dialysis all now as we speak. He would normally be the person to take me to and from the centre for treatments. At nights he would work and bring in the money for the house. We have children going to school, so he would work nights so that he could be with me during the day to assist me. He used to be foot and foot, every day assisting with me as I need treatment. Unfortunately this had to come and happen”, Lewis said.
For 20 years, Hackett worked at construction sites, and at nights he “pulled bull”, the wife said, but as her condition worsened he left the daytime job.
“He used to be a construction worker. But when I came down with this illness he stayed home during the day with me. He did all of the cooking and washing. Everything that I could not do. Last week he was doing repairs on the house. My condition worsened but I am fighting it with dialysis. He used to pull in a few dollars. It was nothing much – he would buy food, chicken and send the children off to school. Now he is no more. That help is gone now. He provided the money for everything”, she said.
Lewis said several years ago he was attacked and robbed of his jewellery, but his commitment to his family kept him working his taxi.
“They took this chain, hand band and jewellery some years now. He just swallowed his pride and continued to do the same work”, said the wife. “Every day he would come and tell me how the night was.
He was very particular about who he would pick up. He was particular with picking up young people. But that night, I don’t know. I guess they looked as genuine passengers to him and he would have picked them up. But unfortunately they were not”.
Around 12.30 a.m. Sunday, Hackett, who worked the San Fernando to Princes Town route, was hijacked by two men pretending to be passengers in his Nissan Tiida.
Police said Hackett had picked up the two in Princes Town and upon reaching a fruit stall along the M1 Ring Road near Daisley Road, the men pointed a firearm at him.
Investigators believe that Hackett fought back and he was shot several times.
The killers threw his body out of the vehicle and sped off.
An off duty municipal police officer who saw the crime drove to the Ste Madeleine police station and brought back officers to the scene, but it was too late.
“I used to be scared for him. We see these things every day, we read it on the internet, but when it hits home it is really terrible. No words could express how I feel right now. We were together for the past 22 years. He was a very dedicated and loving guy. He cared a lot about his family, about his children. He would be out there every night to make money in order for them to go to school. The boy goes in a van to go to school and he has to pay that every week. From Marabella to San Fernando. The girl would travel, and he would make sure her money is there”, she said.
Police said no arrests have been made in the killing.