Sadness, shock at Ava Thelwell’s passing

FRIENDS of Ava Thelwell, the 49-year-old woman who is suspected of committing suicide by driving her motor vehicle into the Rio Cobre in St Catherine last week, have expressed sadness at her passing.

At the same time, people who did not know her took to social media, theorising that her charming appearance perhapsed masked the inner battles she fought.

A friend of Thelwell who requested anonymity told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that had known her since childhood, as they attended Saxthorpe Methodist Church together. She said she was still shocked at Thelwell’s passing.

“Knowing her, I never saw this one coming. She was a beautiful person inside and outside and is always smiling, which is ironic in the way her life ended,” she said.

Police reported that Thelwell, the mother of two adult children and who lived in Kingston, was seen lingering near Flat Bridge from about 10:00 am. The cops said that about 2:00 pm she allegedly drove to the middle of the bridge, stopped and then ran her Suzuki Grand Vitara into the river.

She was pulled from the water by divers and taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Another of Thelwell’s friends shared, on her Facebook page, a picture of them smiling at an event. She stated in the post that that is how she wanted to remember Thelwell.

“I am devastated and hurt to know that my dear friend Ava Thelwell left us. I heard about the incident of a person driving themself over the bridge, but never would have imagined it was her,” she said.

Another Facebook user described Thelwell as a beautiful woman, based on her pictures on social media.

“I don’t know her, but my deepest condolences to the family. She is so sophisticated and beautiful from the pictures I have seen. I just wished she [had] called and talked to someone,” she said.

“It is sad when you are suffering deep inside and no one can see your pain, or what you are going through; my heart aches,” she added.

Instagram users also shared similar sentiments about the Campion College past student.

One user said that like Thelwell, other people are fighting silent battles.

“We need to check on our loved ones as much as possible and I don’t mean to just ask, ‘You good?’ I mean really check for them. Let them feel like they have someone they can talk to, because the battles that are being fought silently are dead!” he said.

Another user, who is a wellness advocate, said Thelwell always reposted her content about mental health and self-care.

“She would watch my Instagram live and repost my videos. It is unfortunate that she took the route that she did. I think that if she would just send me a message, we would be talking,” she told the Observer.

Senior Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay, who heads the constabulary’s Corporate Communications Unit, said yesterday that investigations into the incident are still being carried out.

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