Accident spotlights road concerns

Two women struck by a hit-and-run driver last week were
walking down a section of road that has long been a safety concern in the West
Bay community.

Mount Pleasant Road is extremely narrow and is almost pitch
dark along some sections at night. It has two 90-degree right turns, and at one
point a large tree pushes out into the street at a sharp curve in the road.

There are no sidewalks on Mount Pleasant and people often
walk and bike on it, whether taking nighttime strolls or just coming home from
work.

Cayman Islands Road Safety Advisory Council President Aileen
Samuel, who drives that stretch of road at least four or five times a day on
her way back and forth from work, at Villas Pappagallo said it’s long past time
for something to be done.

“There’s a lot of apartments there, where a lot of the
domestics stay, and they walk that road anywhere up to half past one in the
morning going back home,” Mrs. Samuel said. “A lot of them wear dark clothing,
so they’re not visible.

“We are going to speak to the National Roads Authority again
and see if there’s any way they can make at least one side of the road have a
footpath.”

It may not have mattered for 46-year-old Caymanian
Rose-Marie Sanderson and Jamaican domestic helper Joan Walters last Wednesday
night. Family members said one of the women was struck so hard in the
hit-and-run accident that she was knocked into the air, over a fence.

According to their families, Ms Sanderson had a broken hip and broken
right ankle while Ms Walters suffered serious head injuries and a broken sinus
bone underneath one of her eyes. 

The two remained in hospital over the weekend receiving treatment and
doctors expected both would survive. But it will be a long road to recovery,
especially for Ms Walters, who was still in the hospital’s critical care unit
as of Friday afternoon.

“I would ask the driver to put himself in the family’s place,”
said Ms Sanderson’s sister, Donna Richards. “Just do what is right; what
he would want to have done if it had happened to him.” 

Mrs. Samuel said, regardless of the outcome of the police
investigation into Wednesday’s hit-and-run, the government should look at
putting property setbacks of three to four feet along the side of Mount
Pleasant Road for walkers.

It would require property owners to give up narrow sections
on the front of their land for the footpaths, she said.

“Have a look at that road and see how many fences have been
plowed into recently, I think there’s five fences down where the cars have
actually gone into them,” Mrs. Samuel said. “I’m quite sure, if government was
to approach these people for a small amount of money…we could move them back
three or four feet.”

Also, Mrs. Samuel said the road advisory group encourages
people who are out walking late at night to remember to wear light clothing,
walk against traffic and carry a flashlight to warn oncoming vehicles.

The driver of the car that struck the women has not been identified and
had not been arrested as of press time Sunday.

Both women have four children each, Mrs. Richards said. 

“The hospital bills are going to pile up,” she said, adding
that Ms Walters worked as a domestic and Ms Sanderson only worked
part-time. 

Royal Cayman Islands Police Inspector Anthony White said officers were
given a fairly good description of the hit-and-run vehicle.

“The vehicle is described as silver in colour and has a spoiler on
the rear trunk,” Inspector White said. “There were possibly two
occupants, one male and one female, in the vehicle at the time of the
accident.”

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call PC Stacyann
Stewart at 949-4222, or contact Cayman Crime Stoppers at 800-(TIPS).

 

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