Tiran and Maleka Jackson.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
TIRAN Jackson, the husband of the woman killed over the weekend when an Exuma tour boat burst into flames, has had one of his legs amputated, according to a GoFundMe account created by his family.
He joins Stefanie Schaffer, a 22-year-old woman from Vermont with a love for dancing, who lost both of her legs after the accident.
Mr Jackson’s wife, Maleka Jackson, was killed in the accident that injured 11 people. The two were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary.
Up to press time yesterday, the family had raised $47,110 of their $100,000 goal on GoFundMe.
Their post read: “As Maleka & Tiran were celebrating their 15th anniversary in The Bahamas, a tragic boat accident on June 30 claimed the life of Maleka and left Tiran in critical condition. Maleka is survived by her husband, Tiran and 12-year-old son. With the support of the family, we are raising funds to cover medical and travel expenses as Tiran’s trauma has resulted in an amputation and other severe injuries. He has a long road ahead, which will include multiple surgeries and physical therapy. Funds will also be used to help with the care of their young son, who is currently in the care of out-of-state family members and upon recovery, a widowed husband. Maleka was a loving mom, dedicated wife, grateful daughter and supportive friend. She will be greatly missed and her legacy will live on forever.”
In an interview with WDEF in Georgia, Melvin Grimes, the father of Mrs Jackson, said: “Maleka would be, I guess what I would call a shooting star. She had a life that kind of stayed straight on the course and it was a life that brought a lot of joy and a lot of support and love into the lives of others.”
Meanwhile, Schaffer’s family had raised $112,589 to assist with medical and travel expenses up to press time last night.
The Port Department has issued a cease and desist order to the operator of the destroyed vessel, Four C’s Adventures, prohibiting its operations until the investigation is completed.
Officials have not yet said if the operator had liability insurance and other requisite licences and certifications.
The cause of the boat fire remains unknown. Police initially reported the boat’s engine had exploded, but at a press conference on Monday, Acting Port Controller Commander Raymond King said this was not the case.
“I am unaware of what the police report stated but I’m sure the social media images would’ve revealed that the engines weren’t affected as part of the explosion but I wish not to speculate about what may have happened,” he said.