Police will conduct an investigation into a Friday night vehicle pursuit that left two men dead and a third critically injured, to see whether department policies were followed.
The vehicle being chased by police crashed into a utility pole along West Bay Road just south of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Damage to the car was so severe that firefighters had to be called in to help remove the victims.
Power was knocked out to the entire area for about two hours following the crash. West Bay road was closed in both directions to vehicle and pedestrian traffic between the Ritz and Foster’s Food Fair on Seven Mile Beach. Sections of the road remained closed until mid-morning Saturday.
Royal Cayman Islands Police officers had attempted to stop the car the men were in around 11.30pm on Kings Road in West Bay. Officers said the driver of the car refused to stop and sped off.
“When the vehicle refused to comply with signals; lights and sirens, a short pursuit ensued,” Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan said.
Police did not state how fast the car was travelling.
The dead men, identified as 21-year-old Sidney Myles and 32-year-old Bruce Lee Ebanks, were passengers. Both men died at the scene of the crash. Both were Caymanian.
The car’s 19-year-old driver suffered broken legs and other severe injuries. He was air lifted off the island for further medical treatment Saturday.
The teen was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. He is expected to face charges if he survives.
Commissioner Kernohan did not immediately give a reason as to why the officers were trying to stop the vehicle in West Bay. However, police officials noted the car’s rear licence plate number was registered to a different vehicle than the one the men were driving.
‘The RCIPS has strict procedures in place for engaging in pursuits,’ he said. ‘A full and thorough investigation by a senior officer, not connected to the pursuit itself, is under way to establish the facts…and ascertain if the policy and procedures for police pursuits was adhered to.’
The Caymanian Compass has previously asked for a copy of the RCPS policy on police chases, but department officials have declined to release that information.
Investigators said they have spoken to independent witnesses who saw the end of the chase and the crash. However, anyone else who could provide information was asked to come forward and contact the Traffic Management Unit at 946-6254, or call Chief Inspector Courtney Myles at 926-0649.
Anonymous information can also be provided to Cayman Crime Stoppers at 800-8477 (TIPS).