‘Giant who is gone too soon’

  • Keen sportsman: Antoine Seaman, centre, plays for Somerset Trojans in the Expansion League KO Cup final against Devonshire Cougars on Sunday. He died in a road accident less than 12 hours later, the fourth road fatality of the year (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

    Keen sportsman: Antoine Seaman, centre, plays for Somerset Trojans in the Expansion League KO Cup final against Devonshire Cougars on Sunday. He died in a road accident less than 12 hours later, the fourth road fatality of the year (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

  • Antoine Seaman

    Antoine Seaman

The man who died in a collision involving a motorbike and a police car this week was a promising athlete and a volunteer with youth development programme Mirrors.

Antoine Seaman, 21, who died early on Monday after a crash in Somerset, was a Somerset Trojans footballer. He also played cricket and had represented Bermuda overseas as a teenager with the Bermuda Cricket Board National Academy.

Mr Seaman, a former Bermuda Institute and CedarBridge Academy pupil, worked as a barber and pitched in to give free haircuts to youngsters.

Friends said he had changed after he was involved in an incident that led to a court case in September 2017.

Mr Seaman and another man, then both 19, were injured by two cruise ship passengers when a fight broke out after a chain was snatched from a visitor’s neck.

Mr Seaman dedicated himself to community service after the incident.

Lieutenant Josonne Smith of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service, Mr Seaman’s cousin and an elder at the Rockaway Seventh-day Adventist Church where he worshipped, said he had “a quiet, unassuming and very genuine personality” and was “going down a positive road”.

Mr Smith added that Mr Seaman, from Granaway Heights, Southampton, had become a regular at the church’s Sabbath class.

He said: “I was seriously proud of him. He was very friendly and loving with people, just trying to understand life and where he should go.

“He was a kind guy, very respectful, and discovering that person in himself.

“Everyone was so happy to see him coming to church and completely opening his heart up to God.”

Danvers Seymour Jr, the coach for Trojans, said: “As I reflect on the life of Antoine, I remember the first time I saw him play.

“A very lively, energetic character full of pace and hunger ... I quickly asked who he was so I could keep an eye on him.

“As I got to know him, I found he was a very passionate young man who brightened up any room in the blink of an eye — full of confidence and very committed to whatever he was doing.”

Mr Seymour added: “He recently started to help me to coach the Somerset Under-11 Youth Football Team, where the young boys looked up to him as a senior player and always took advice to heart.”

The young players made their haircut appointments at the same time, he said.

“We are completely heartbroken and Antoine will be truly missed. He will live for ever in all our hearts.”

Kim Jackson, a Mirrors co-ordinator, said Mr Seaman was “a giant who is gone too soon”.

She added that young men on the programme formed a circle talk on Monday as a tribute to his life.

Ms Jackson said: “Antoine Seaman came to Mirrors during the latter part of 2017 looking for support in transforming his life.

“He knew the road would be tough as his incident was publicised, but this did not deter him from learning from his mistakes.”

Ms Jackson said Mr Seaman brought a “determination to give back to the community” and that his desire for “a purposeful life positively impacting young people shone through”.

She added: “Antoine owned his life, the foundation that his family provided, his community support and the mistakes he made.

“It was amazing to see a young man awakening to his calling and making a choice to be different.

“Although not physically large, we watched him transform into a giant in his desire to be impactful in our community.”

Mr Seaman was due to join in the Open Your Heart Foundation Good Friday to give free haircuts to youngsters in need.

Ms Jackson said Mr Seaman had also put in long hours at the Mirrors office to give administrative support and was a team leader at the SuperCamp Junior Forum in February last year.

The camps work with at-risk young people to help with relationship skills and character development.

Ms Jackson said Mr Seaman had a “great” rapport with the youngsters and the programme’s overseas consultant.

She added that the camp’s leadership team had tipped him to take on a bigger role with Mirrors.

Ms Jackson said: “The consultant shared how impactful he was with young people and that he should be considered as a potential candidate to be a Mirrors facilitator.

“Antoine’s gift of leadership and impact extended beyond Mirrors’ walls.

“He was a positive influence in the Somerset community as he provided free haircuts to young people and coached a junior football team.

“His transformation was remarkable and truly noticeable in every aspect of his life. He will be missed by the Mirrors family and the community at large.”

The crash in Sandys involved a marked police car, which was travelling in the opposite direction on a call to a disturbance.

The incident, which occurred at about 1.50am on Somerset Road, near Wilson Place, is now under investigation by the independent Police Complaints Authority as well as the police.

A spokesman said today that CCTV footage showed Mr Seaman riding alongside an “as yet unknown motorcyclist who the BPS believe is a critical witness to the collision”.

“We are urgently appealing for that rider, or anyone who knows the identity of that individual, to come forward by calling the investigating officer Sergeant Dorian Astwood on 247-1009 or 717-0849 at the earliest opportunity.”

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Published Apr 17, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 17, 2019 at 12:41 pm)

‘Giant who is gone too soon’

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