Jaime Brynes’ grieving mum still seeking answers

Jaime Brynes was killed when he was hit by a lorry on Ferry Road last December. Picture: comp

Jaime Brynes was killed when he was hit by a lorry on Ferry Road last December. Picture: comp

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The mother of a man killed after being struck by a lorry on a busy city street has said she is still searching for answers one year on from his death.

The mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Jaime Brynes on Ferry Road have left his devastated mother Rae Tervit in “limbo”.

He lived in Sleigh Drive, but walked up to Ferry Road several times a week. I never thought he’d walk up it and never come back.

Rae Tervit

Mrs Tervit lost Jaime, her youngest child, just months after the death of his brother Alan, who had severe special needs.

Jaime was hit by the large grain lorry on the stretch of Ferry Road between Dudley Avenue South and North Fort Street a year ago this week.

Reports at the time suggested that he had fallen into the road following an argument outside Boots the chemist – but Mrs Tervit said Jaime was a “gentle giant” who never had a cross word with anyone.

Police sent a report to the Procurator Fiscal about a 40-year-old man in connection with the incident. However, the case was dropped before it went to court.

Mrs Tervit, 56, said she believed something untoward had happened, and was desperate to get justice for her son, adding: “They [the police] build your hopes up and then they say they can’t do anything.

“I was just numb. It was so cold. They don’t give you a chance to say anything. We know he did nothing. I think [not prosecuting] is down to money and how much it would cost them.”

Speaking for the first time since the tragic incident, Mrs Tervit said she would never forget seeing a picture of the aftermath of the crash with her son’s woolly hat lying in the middle of the road.

The dedicated Hibs fan and music lover had been at the chemist to pick up a prescription, having suffered from chronic anxiety and other mental health issues throughout his adult life.

It was suggested at the time that there was a dispute outside the chemist, before Jaime lost his footing and fell into the path of the lorry.

Staff from the shop rushed to his side and did all they could to help him, using bandages from the store to staunch the blood flow until paramedics arrived. But despite their best efforts, he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

“The police said if it had been a bus or a car, chances are he would have been okay. But because it was a lorry, he just went under,” Mrs Tervit, a retired nurse, said.

“He lived in Sleigh Drive, but walked up to Ferry Road several times a week. I never thought he’d walk up it and never come back.

“The police came with his stuff – his phone and his wallet. They handed me these two or three bits, and I thought – ‘that’s what’s left of Jaime’. His phone was covered with blood. We never got his hat back.”

Jaime, who helped his mum look after Alan, had struggled to come to terms with losing his brother to pancreatic cancer, but had been learning to drive and was feeling more positive about the future.

Mrs Tervit, who lives in Portobello, said: “Alan passed away in May, he just fell asleep. That was hard enough, but we knew he would have chosen his time to go. But Jaime was something else.

“Jaime was never the same after Alan died. He was the first person he ever really lost. He only had one picture up in his house and that was of Alan.

“Alan had high support needs physically, and Jaime had mental health problems – they can only be in a better place now.”

After Jaime’s death, the family did everything they could to find out exactly what happened that day, putting up posters around the scene of the crash asking witnesses to come forward.

Mrs Tervit and Jaime’s sister Debbie, 39, put fresh flowers down, including a Hibs scarf, a teddy and an Iron Maiden T-shirt – but thieves took them away.

On another occasion, a guitar made from flowers which had been fastened to the lamppost near the crash spot was “smashed to smithereens”.

She said that the disrespect shown by people, both at the scene and on online forums, made the family feel helpless.

But they were bolstered by the dozens of tributes that flooded in after Jaime’s death.

Mrs Tervit said: “He had no confidence. He used to think no-one thought anything of him, but the amount of people that thought the world of him. His pals were just devastated.”

Jaime was bright and did well at school before going on to study music production at Falkirk College.

The mental health problems which had plagued him for most of his adult life made it difficult for him to find employment. However, he acted as a carer for his brother, taking him swimming and playing music with him. Jaime, who was 6ft 3in, had been a modest kind-hearted friend who always thought of others, including his elderly neighbour for whom he used to pick up the paper and other shopping.

“He would never lift his hands to anybody,” Mrs Tervit said, admitting that she sometimes dreams that he is still here. “He was a mummy’s boy. He was in such a good place [before he died]. Those two [Jaime and Alan] are holding me up.”

Jaime was very close to sister Debbie, his two nephews and three nieces, and got on well with his stepdad Alex Tervit.

Jaime had always been keen to have a motorbike, so for his funeral, on December 19 last year, he was taken in a sidecar hearse. His coffin was blue and decorated with guitars.

And now as she prepares for another difficult Christmas, Mrs Tervit wants to encourage anyone who witnessed the incident last December 8 to come forward.

She said: “We just want to know something has been done. I just don’t understand it.”

A spokesman for the Crown Office said: “The Procurator Fiscal at Edinburgh received a report concerning a 40-year-old male in connection with an alleged incident on December 8, 2014.

“After full and careful consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case, Crown Counsel instructed that there should be no criminal proceedings at this time.”

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com