Disturbing trend in deadly accidents

Royal Cayman Islands Police are investigating allegations of criminality In six of the seven vehicle accidents where people have died this year, according to a review of the incidents done by the Caymanian Compass.

In three of the fatal accident cases, criminal charges have been brought against the drivers.

In three other incidents, police are investigating allegations of either hit-and-runs or – in the most recent deadly accident from Saturday – accusations of dangerous driving and DUI.

Only one deadly accident from 2010, which involved a single motorcycle that lost control, was not being investigated for potential criminality. That crash killed 26-year-old George Powell.

Meanwhile, the RCIPS released data on Monday morning that revealed a significant number of arrests on Cayman’s roads since 22 November – which is when the service began its holiday season crackdown.

Since then, there have been 23 arrests for drink driving, 187 speeding offences detected, and 184 car accidents.

“The statistics we have released (Monday) morning are concerning,” said RCIPS Chief Inspector Angelique Howell. “It is beyond belief that so many people have chosen to ignore the warnings about the dangers of driving at speed, without seat belt and under the influence. “If you get behind the wheel of a car after you’ve been drinking you are putting your own life at risk as well as the lives of innocent road users and pedestrians. We were all saddened to hear of the tragic loss of another life on the roads of the Cayman Islands this weekend.”

Michael Edgington, 26, was struck on West Bay Road around 1am Saturday and was pronounced dead at hospital a short time later.

The van driver who struck Mr. Edgington was arrested on suspicion of DUI and causing death by dangerous driving. The 39-year-old man was later released on police bail and has not been charged.

In other fatal crashes that have occurred this year, charges have been filed in connection with the deaths of Matthew Bodden, 23, and Winston Welsh, 52. Mr. Welsh was struck as he walked across the road near the Mango Tree restaurant in November.

Mr. Bodden was involved in a high-speed crash in January along Shamrock Road in what police believed to be a racing-related accident.

The driver of the other car involved was charged with causing death by dangerous driving. FederAnn Faustino, 24, was killed in an early morning wreck along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.

The driver of the other vehicle involved in that crash was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

In the deaths of Jane Oneill of Massachusetts, USA and Mike Allan Jervis, 59, of Cayman police were still investigating. Mr. Jervis was believed to have been the victim of a hit-and-run driver as he rode his bicycle along Eastern Avenue in June.

Mrs. Oneill died several months after she was struck by two cars as she attempted to cross West Bay Road in April. One individual was arrested, but no charges have ever been filed. Police have never reported an arrest in Mr. Jervis’ death.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Not sure if you are looking at these figures the right way: If you start from the premise that there is no such thing as an accident then every accident will have some blame attached and this will always amount to at the very least driving without due care and attention before we consider DUI etc.
    What is much more interesting question but one that a lot of people will bury their head in the sands to avoid, is the cultural and social issues that underpin poor driving and risk taking, particularly from the indigenous, Caymanian, population.
    How many fatal or serious accidents involve locals? Visitors to any country will normally be at risk because of lack of familiarity with local driving standards or the road network but in Cayman the reverse seems to be the case. It is Caymanians who are responsible and not the visitors.
    It there a culture, some would say particularly amongst the young, where drink driving is acceptable or where they feel that fleeing the scene gives them a chance to avoid the consequences?
    Once again, Caymanians have got to look at themselves, their lifestyle and the culture for the answers and I am not sure they are prepared to do this.

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  2. Warning to pedestrians who drink during this season. Dont let your guard down. Take responsibility to look both ways and make sure its safe before attempting to cross the street. Its difficult for drivers to see pedestrians at night and even more dangerous after they have been drinking.

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  3. Theres a culture of drinking and driving on the Island which will be hard to eradicate. In the mean time, why cant there be pedestrian crossing points on West Bay Road? Every time I see a group or family of holiday makers trying to dash across this busy road, I get chills as I know how much the middle lane is wrongly used for overtaking.

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  4. No tickets to people running stop signs or too lazy to use turning signals or more distracted by yacking on a cell phone than if they were drinking and concentrating on driving, inoperative brake lights, headlamps burned only when it is completely dark, larger streets used as raceways at night. Frankly, Im amazed our death toll is not higher.

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  5. People who drink experience blackouts and memory loss. The first thing that happens is they lose focus. a person losing focus on the road while driving a vehicle and blacking out behind the wheel has created a dangerous situation that must be avoided. Such unlawful actions should be punishable more harshly as these people who drink and drive are an endangerment to our society.

    CONFISCATE THESE LICENSES FOR AT LEAST 50 YEARS!
    That way by the time they are eligible for reinstatement they have learned their lesson or are ready to check out of here!

    THE POLICE NEEDS TO PUT A PATTY WAGON ON THE ROAD TO SCOOP THESE PEOPLE UP AND GET THEM OUT OF OUR WAY!

    COURTS YOU ARE FAR TOO LENIENT!
    2 years for death caused by a selfish party drunken driver is not a punishment it sends a message that you can kill people and get away with it.

    THIS LAW NEEDS TO BE REVIEWED ASAP. Mr. Bulgin, take a look please and Act now.

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