Latest horror smash on Esterley

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Royal Cayman Islands Police are
looking into drunken driving and high speed as the possible causes of a deadly
two-car accident along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway just after midnight
Tuesday.

According to police, a Honda Civic
carrying a man and a woman collided with a Toyota SUV at around 12.30am.

The force of the crash sent the
Honda into the bush along the side of the road. The Toyota turned on its side
and came to rest in the middle of the road, which is also known as the Harquail
bypass.

According to witnesses, a man
emerged from the Civic with blood on his clothes, and a woman – the Civic’s
passenger – was taken away on a stretcher.

The woman, 24-year-old FederAnn
Faustino from the Philippines, suffered major head injuries. She was later
pronounced dead at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

The driver of the Civic, Ms
Faustino’s boyfriend, was not seriously hurt.

Ms Faustino’s family members were
devastated by news of the crash.

“I can’t believe my sister’s gone,”
said Dina Wood, Ms Faustino’s elder sister. “She would do a favour for anybody.
She’s not only a sister to me, but she’s a daughter inside my heart.

“If I only knew that last night was
her last, I would have hugged my sister,” Mrs. Wood said.

Ms Faustino had lived in Cayman for
two years and worked at Wendy’s in Savannah. Her sister and older brother,
Edwin, also live in Cayman.

The driver of the Toyota SUV,
identified as Brooke Nowak, was also taken to hospital following the accident.
She was in stable condition in the hospital’s surgical unit at press time.
Police said they expected she would survive. 

Police investigators kept the
two-lane section of the Esterley Tibbetts between Camana Bay and the
Butterfield roundabout in central George Town closed into part of rush hour
Tuesday morning, and officers were diverting traffic around the entire area.

The crash site is just north of the
Lakeside apartments.

The accident is the third fatal
wreck to occur on Grand Cayman in 2010.

The two-lane stretch of the
Esterley Tibbetts Highway where Tuesday’s crash occurred has been the scene of
several spectacular and horrifying wrecks over the past few years.

Officials with the National Roads
Authority have repeatedly detailed plans to widen that particular section of
highway into a four-lane, divided road. However, the last estimate from the
roads authority is that such work would cost approximately $4 million.

“Anyone who dares to say that the
$4 million needed to improve this road…is a waste should then also be prepared
to answer the question as to the value of a life,” authority Deputy Managing Director
Edward Howard said in 2008.

Local road safety advocates have
erected signs facing in both directions along the Harquail urging motorists not
to overtake along the two-lane part of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. After it
passes Camana Bay, the Esterley widens into a four-lane divided highway until
it ends at West Bay Public Beach.

Those signs were put up following
several high-profile wrecks that killed two people, and injured five others.

On 19 November, 2007, Australian
national Shaney Tania Bar-On (known in Cayman as Shaney Kol) died in a head-on
collision with a Red Sail Sports SUV driver who said in court that he had
nodded off while driving and veered into the opposite lane. He was sentenced to
six months in prison. Mrs. Bar-On’s 18-month-old child was in her SUV with her,
but the little girl was not harmed in the wreck.

On 14 March, 2008, a Honda Civic
carrying four teenage girls ran head-on into a Nissan driven by a male. All
five people were hospitalised but survived. Police later said it appeared that
the Honda had been overtaking while heading into George Town.

In October 2008, an attorney with
Appleby died when his BMW collided with a flatbed truck near the Butterfield
roundabout. Jonathan Tarboton, 38, died in the 14 October crash in which
witnesses said it appeared the BMW’s accelerator had been stuck to the car’s
floorboard.

Compass journalist Elphina Magona contributed to this report.

TOPLatesthorrorSTORY

Emergency crews attempt to rescue car crash victims from a Honda Civic early Tuesday along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.
Photo: Dennie Warren, Jr.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. This is shocking and extremely sad. The whole stretch of the by-pass is dangerous and I very rarely see the police on there at all enforcing the speed limit. There should be police stationed on this stretch every day in my opinion clocking people although I am afraid that the police approach to speeding fines/tickets is seen by many as just another way of raising revenue, rather than a genuine attempt to curb speeding and dangerous driving. The law should also prohibit overtaking (any moving vehicle) on any single lane road in Cayman.

    The road is also too narrow even on the two lane stretch further up towards West Bay and that stretch is un-even and should NOT be 40mph but should be 25mph. The roundabout at AL Thomson is also dangerous as the majority of drivers do not understand that they should give way to the right at a roundabout and I see drivers drive right through without even looking on a daily basis.

    I appreciate that alcohol ‘may’ also be involved in some accidents but more needs to be done on general safety to prevent such tragic accidents as this from occuring in the future.

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  2. Speed cameras, or ‘average speed detector’s’ seem the way forward; believe me they are NOT popular in the UK, but do work. The highway in question would suit them perfectly, and almost certainly deter wreckless driving.

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  3. well i had a bad motorcicle (not drunk 0,4 promile) accident (Yespa) in westbay 21.june 2006, I survived with 2 1/2 month coma in Miami, and i think police should be more active at night time and Speed radar

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