Ottawa-area man dies after being struck by motorcycle in Jamaica

Jamaican police are investigating after John Rowsom, 76, was struck and killed by a motorcyclist as he walked along a road on the island's western tip on Thursday.

Jamaican police investigating death of John Rowsom, 76

John Rowsom was the past-president of the Almonte branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, near Ottawa. (Supplied)

A 76-year-old Ottawa-area man has died after being struck by a motorcycle in Jamaica while on an evening walk with his wife.

John Rowsom was walking along a road near Negril, a resort town on the island's western tip, around 7:30 p.m. Thursday when a motorcycle driver lost control and struck him, said the Jamaica Constabulary Force in a news release.

Rowsom suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead in hospital, police said.

The driver of the Cobra CG 150 motorcycle fled, police said.

'Out for an evening walk'

Rowsom's son Mark told CBC News Saturday that his parents had been "out for an evening walk" when the motorcycle struck his father.

You knew where you stood with him. He was an honest man.- Mark Rowsom , John Rowsom's son

His parents had been living just outside the small town of Clayton, Ont., about 70 km southwest of Ottawa, since 1976, Mark Rowsom said.

They had visited Jamaica every February "for roughly the last 30 years," he said.

His mother, Ina, was not hurt, Mark Rowsom said.

"She's grieving fairly badly. Kind of hard to be walking down the road holding your husband's hand and have him taken from you," he said.

'An honest man'

Known to friends as Moe, John Rowsom — originally misidentified as John Rowson by Jamaican police — had worked in the marine electronics field before retiring more than a decade ago, his son said.

After retiring, he worked as a part-time school bus driver around the Clayton area. 

"He was a great man to work for, to have as a friend. He never asked anything of anybody that he wouldn't do himself. And he was always there if you needed him," Mark Rowsom said. 

"He was a good man. Strict, but that's not a bad thing. You knew where you stood with him. He was an honest man."

An autopsy is planned, Mark Rowsom added.

Consular officials involved

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said Friday they were reaching out to Jamaican officials and Rowsom's family.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the Canadian citizen who passed away in Jamaica," the department said in an email.

"Canadian consular officials in Jamaica are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information and are providing consular assistance to the family."

Jamaican police say their investigation is ongoing.

Seventy-six-year-old John Rowsom from the Ottawa area was struck and killed by a motorcycle in a resort area near Negril, Jamaica. (Google Maps)


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