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Victim’s ‘big heart’ and chequered past

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Travis Lowe, killed on August 2 after a crash that police believe came at the end of a gang-motivated chase, was remembered by his brother as an “amazing” young father intent on turning his life around.

Candid about his younger sibling's scrapes with the law, which included jail time, Terencio Lowe looked back on a poor and footloose childhood that brought them close. Curving Avenue in Pembroke was “where our memories are, where we were in our prime”, he remembered. “It was tough, but fun at the same time.”

It was also through neighbourhoods whose names carry gang associations that the younger Lowe made friendships with potentially dangerous consequences.

“Just based on who you hang around, they will come looking for you,” Mr Lowe said of the island's increasingly harsh youth culture.

Those past links may have caught up with Travis on July 26 when, according to police, he was chased at high speed around the Southampton Rangers Club.

Mr Lowe, who had a one-year-old daughter, had been with the mother of his infant son, and had set out on an errand that included buying diapers.

Exactly what transpired remains under investigation, with a man now charged with manslaughter. Travelling at high speed, Travis was fatally injured by an oncoming vehicle, succumbing a week later in hospital. “Travis was a good friend to everyone; he had a big heart,” his brother said. “A couple people may have disliked him, but way more people showed love.

“He was an amazing individual — he could just blow you away, put a smile on your face.”

Growing up with parents in “financial crisis”, the three brothers — each a year apart — generally got nothing for Christmas. After an eviction, the younger two were sent away to live in government housing at Oleander Cottage. Mr Lowe looked back on their childhood misdeeds as “mischievous — stealing candy bars, pretty things”, and Curving Avenue as a place where drugs were sold, but youngsters were sharply warned by dealers to keep their distance.

Calling it “totally different to what we see now”, he added. “We never saw it as gangs. It was groups of friends.”

While he had to warn his younger brother against rough company, Mr Lowe called Bermuda “an island where gang violence is not our culture, but where a lot of people try to portray that image. It doesn't make sense because we're more friendly as an environment. But the value of life has decreased by a large margin.”

Mr Lowe saw the price his brother paid was “because of his crowd” with death threats at one Cup Match celebration leaving him speechless, and “guys from Somerset coming to my house looking for him”. Travis, he said, had been chased before and the same had even happened to him, when people mistook him for his younger brother.

“People want their piece of the action, feel some power, be that person,” he said, adding that boasting on social media fuelled tensions and raised the onus on young men to prove themselves.

Jailed recently for stealing a bike and leaving unpaid fines, Travis missed his child and heeded his brother's advice on “distancing yourself from things that aren't benefiting you”.

After his release, “he didn't have a job, but would work hustles to help, and I was proud to see him trying”.

Since his death, finding poems and even a song in his brother's effects since his death has “deeply affected me”, Mr Lowe said. “My brother's gone, but I still feel his presence.”

Travis Lowe
Travis Lowe
Travis Lowe
Travis Lowe

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Published August 19, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 19, 2016 at 12:33 am)

Victim’s ‘big heart’ and chequered past

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