Anthony Harris died a hero.
The 60-year-old was cycling around the Queen’s Park Savannah, in Port-of-Spain, on Saturday when the driver of a white Nissan B-13 ploughed into him and fled the scene.
Harris was flung into the air by the impact and while he was conscious at the scene, he died on Sunday morning at the hospital.
The driver is still being sought by police.
In an interview with Guardian Media, Harris’ elder daughter, Charisse said before he died, he called out to his cycling companions, warning them that the vehicle was too close.
“He saw the car coming, so the other people he was riding with, he told them to go to the side and when he was proceeding to go to the side himself, the car ploughed straight into him, he flew up into the air and went back down,” Charisse said.
On Sunday, she said her father paid the ultimate price for that warning.
“He definitely did…he paid with his life,” she said.
Describing her father as her biggest hero, Charisse appealed to the driver to come forward so her family can have some sense of justice for her father’s death.
“I just want the person that hit my father to turn himself in, so that we could get closure.”
Harris was a freelance photographer with Guardian Media for many years and was a mechanic by trade.
Charisse said he was also the best father.
“He was the most loving caring person ever, with the biggest heart…, He was always a phone call away, he would do anything for me at any given time, I could call my father at two o’clock in the morning and he would come, even if he was sleeping,” she said.
She said her family and Harris’ friends and colleagues were in shock over his death.
Former Guardian Media Sports editor Valentino Singh said he was not surprised to learn that Harris had sought to save his friends before being struck by the car.
“He placed value on a lot of things and friendship was one of them, if he and a group of people were in danger, as his daughter is saying and he moved to ensure they were safe and he suffered as a result, that doesn’t surprise me a bit,” Singh said.
“His standards were his standards, and if you look at it, he died standing up for things that he believed in,” he added.
Singh recalled his interactions with Harris when he became a Sports photographer. He described Harris as the ultimate professional.
“I remember having him come to my office and him outlining to me what he wanted to do for us and how much it would cost. I had to go back to my superiors to get it approved because it was more than the base at that time, but he was not willing to budge,” Singh said.
He said Harris maintained the highest professional standards in his work and would never shirk his duties.
Singh is now retired but his interactions with Harris continued over the years. He said he saw Harris daily during his morning walks.
“He would always be with a group of cyclists very early in the morning, they would be riding past while I was walking and Anthony would always hail out to me “Valentino Singh!” in this big way, in a sense it meant that we never lost touch with each other because I saw him every morning around the Savannah,” Singh said.
Keith Clement, who is the current Sports Editor, echoed Singh’s sentiments.
He said Harris was very straightforward and dedicated to photography.
“He was a very serious guy when it came to work, he would not accept anything less than his price for a job but on a personal level, he was a great person to work with, he would sit down and crack jokes with us,” Clement said.