Tributes paid to RBR soldier killed in crash
The death of a man after a motorbike crash is a huge loss to both Bermuda and the island’s Jamaican community, the president of the Jamaican Association said yesterday.
Ricardo Gibbs, who died after a crash late on Wednesday night, was “a loyal supporter of the Jamaican community and the Bermudian community”, added Roxanne Christopher.
Mr Gibbs, a veteran soldier in the Royal Bermuda Regiment and the son of Jamaican immigrants, suffered serious injuries after his motorcycle hit a wall on Harbour Road in Paget, near the junction with Highwood Lane, at about 11.20pm.
He was rushed to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, but died of his injuries.
The father of three, who was 40, was the first road death of the year.
Ms Christopher said: “He helped with other families in the Jamaican community who had lost loved ones.
“Ricardo was an advocate for justice, an equality advocate and advocate for everything that is right.
“He was the best of everything we have to offer.
“This was a good man, a good person and I am thankful to his family — people like him don’t just happen. He was raised well.”
She added: “I was speaking to another member of the Jamaican Association and we could not remember a time he said he could not assist, he could not support, that he was too busy.
“The Jamaican community has depended on this man and his grandmother, his family, his siblings are all proud to be members of the Jamaican community and of this country.” Mr Gibbs served as a corporal in the RBR’s Regimental Police and gave more than 20 years of service to the country.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley, the RBR’s commanding officer, said: “He will be a massive loss to all ranks in the Regiment and will be sadly missed.”
Colonel Curley added: “I knew him well and he was always keen and enthusiastic. He liked doing his job — he was always punctual and understood what his role and tasks were.
“Corporal Gibbs was also happy to interact and help the other soldiers in the Regimental Police unit as well. He was dedicated and always went above and beyond.
“He was the kind of soldier who made things happen in his support role.”
Sergeant Major Luis Pereira completed the 1997 recruit camp and the Junior Non-Commissioned Officers’ Cadre with Mr Gibbs and Sergeant Major Kenyon Woods. The three soldiers were the last of that year’s intake still in the Regiment.
Sergeant Major Pereira said: “I was always proud to have the three of us as the last members of that year’s JNCO still serving.
He added: “Ricardo was one of these people who liked to put on his uniform and cared about what he did — he was proud to do his duty.
“He was quiet and very caring, but assertive — someone who got on with the job and always had an ear for everyone else.
“He was a good soldier who enjoyed his service and was a mainstay of the corporals’ mess for many years.
“They will miss his years of experience in the mess and in the Regiment as a whole.”
Sergeant Major Pereira said: “We always had a good rapport, although we took different career paths in the Regiment. We would get together and reminisce about the good old days.”
Mr Gibbs was born in Jamaica and moved to Bermuda as a child.
He served in the Junior Leaders for more than two years before he joined the RBR just after he reached the age of 18.
Mr Gibbs worked at first as a storeman in the Training Company, but joined the Regimental Police in 2002, where he remained apart for a brief service break in 2007.
He was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee medals and took part in training camps in Bermuda, Jamaica and North Carolina.
Mr Gibbs was among the soldiers embodied for major hurricanes, including Gert in 1999, Fabian in 2003 and Nicole in 2016.
He was also part of the RBR’s disaster relief mission to Grenada in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Ivan.
Mr Gibbs was called up for duty in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US in 2001 and worked as part of the security team for the 2017 America’s Cup event.
Police have appealed for witnesses to the accident.
Anyone with information should contact Sergeant Preston Gill on 295-0011.