Promoters’ Association speaks out on fatal fall at San Fernando Hill

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Renee Mitchell –

PRESIDENT of the Trinidad and Tobago Promoters’ Association Jerome Precilla has spoken out on the weekend tragedy at a fete at San Fernando Hill that left a 39-year-old partygoer dead.

On behalf of the association, the entertainer, popularly known as Rome, offered condolences to the family and friends of Renee Mitchell, the teacher and mother of two who fell to her death.

Calls to the party promoter, Damian Baboolal, went unanswered.

On Tuesday, Newsday called Precilla for comments and he responded via a voice note.

He recalled that the hill bears several signs warning people about the dangers of being too close to the edge.

But Precilla added that the promoter would have done a lot to ensure patrons’ safety.

“I was at the event and parked not too far from where the incident took place. So I got to see the area first-hand,” he said. “From the promoter’s standpoint, as much as they could have done was done. They put a lighting tower very close to where it took place.

“So the place was well lit. There was signage there that warned people of the dangers. There were security personnel around.”

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Promoters’ Association Jerome Precilla – File photo by Ayanna Kinsale

From what he was told, security staff did warn Mitchell about going where the tragedy happened.

Mitchell had gone to IlluSions Solset: Supernova Premium Drinks Fete. It is believed she fell about 80-100 feet off the cliff, where she had gone to urinate.

After what fire officers referred to as a complex rescue operation owing to unstable rocks, poor lighting and other issues, members of the Mon Repos fire search and rescue team found her, barely breathing.

Mitchell, who taught at Brighton AC Primary School in La Brea, died at around 7.20 am on Sunday at the San Fernando General Hospital.

Precilla said where she fell was not on the way to the entrance or exit to the venue.

“She would have left the footpath to exit to head across to reach that end. It was not along the usual path to exit the venue either,” he said.

He called on partygoers to be mindful of their personal safety and security when entering and leaving events.

He added, “Can more be done? I would say yes. More can be done at the venue itself to protect people, although they have signage and cable barricades. After this incident, we could probably take it as a learning and even put more measures in place.We always want to learn and improve, so maybe more could still be done. “

He suggested fencing to prevent people from going too close to the edge of the hill.

But he also called on people to be their brothers’ and sisters’ keepers and to look out for one another when entering or leaving an event.

“We just want to remind patrons to please be careful when leaving events and that they manage their own safety and the safety of their friends. Do not leave everything up to the promoter in terms of the venue itself.

“San Fernando Hill has been having events for years. Since I know myself, there are events on San Fernando Hill, from weddings to birthday parties. Children go up there on evenings and play and all of that, and we have never had an incident like this.”

An autopsy on Monday found Mitchell died from multiple blunt force trauma.

Funeral plans had not been finalised on Tuesday.