Relative of teacher in deadly San Fernando Hill fall: It was an accident

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Renee Mitchell. –

A CLOSE relative of teacher Renee Mitchell, 39, believes her death over the weekend in San Fernando was accidental, and not deliberate, as suggested by some social media users

On online comments, the relative, from Fyzabad, said on January 29: “That is how it goes sometimes, but we believe it was an accident.”

Mitchell’s body was taken to the Forensic Science Centre in St James, where an autopsy is set to be done. Mon Repos police are investigating the death as an accident.

Various parts of the hill bear signs with statements such as: “Danger. Unstable Cliff. Keep off.”

Mitchell taught at Brighton AC School in La Brea.

She died at around 7.20 am at the San Fernando General Hospital. She had gone to IlluSion’s Solet: Supernova Premium Drinks Fete at the San Fernando Hill and is believed to have fallen about 80-100 feet off the cliff where she went to urinate at around 11.55 pm.

It was reported that she lost her balance.

She was with her boyfriend, who alerted other patrons and fire and police officers.

After a six-hour-long rescue operation by the fire search and rescue team from the Mon Repos Fire Station, Mitchell was taken to hospital.

On January 29, classes were dismissed around midday at Brighton AC School, where her colleagues were seen weeping and consoling each other.

When parents went to collect their children at the school, they said the bereaved staff members were recalling memories of Mitchell.

On Sunday, the Education Ministry offered condolences to Mitchell’s family, friends, colleagues, and students. The ministry referred to her as a beloved teacher at the school.

It added: “The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) has been mobilised to provide the necessary support for her students and co-workers. Let us continue to offer our love and assistance to those who may be affected by this profound loss.”

The San Fernando Hill falls under the purview of the Forestry Division of the Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Ministry, and hours after the death the ministry also offered condolences.

“We know this is a difficult time for all those who knew Renee and the circumstances of her death make it even more difficult,” a statement said.