Karen Edwards, 25, was about a week away from giving birth when a Sunday night car crash ended both her life and the life of her unborn child.
Three other women and Mrs. Edwards had been on a trip to the beach Sunday and were heading back into George Town when the Toyota Alteeza they rode in left Sea View Road, clipped a tree and went off into the bush near Lover’s Wall just west of East End village.
No other cars were involved in the 7pm Sunday crash. The driver of the car that carried the four women, a 24-year-old, has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving and causing death by dangerous driving.
The scene found by police and fire crews was described as “horrific”. Mrs. Edwards’ inert body was found face-down in the bush a few feet away from the car.
“She was due to have a baby this week,” said Timisha Edwards, a cousin of Karen Edwards. “She wasn’t driving the car.”
Another crash victim was outside the vehicle as well, while a third had been trapped inside and was rescued when firefighters cut her free from the car.
The fourth victim managed to get to the road and was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital in a private car.
All three injured women were in stable condition, hospital personnel said. However, the most seriously hurt of the three had to be airlifted out of the country for further care on Monday. A 21-year-old passenger in the Toyota was released from hospital on Monday.
Mrs. Edwards had a 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter who were staying with relatives, her family said. Her father, who was out of the country when the crash happened, was coming back to town on Monday.
Relatives remembered Mrs. Edwards as carefree and fun-loving.
“She was open and adventurous,” Timisha Edwards said. “There was never a dull moment around her.”
Mrs. Edwards is the sixth person to die on Cayman Islands roads so far this year. Four of the six fatal crash victims in 2011 were age 25 or younger, two were teenagers.
George Town crash
About half an hour after the crash in East End Sunday, another young man was seriously hurt in a crash along Linford Pierson Highway in George Town.
The wreck happened at 7.40pm Sunday when a man riding in the back of a truck fell out and was hit by another vehicle travelling on the Linford Pierson.
The 22-year-old was in serious condition but was expected to survive as of press time Monday.
Police gave the following account of the accident: “It appears that the man had been sitting on the back of the open truck when the driver had pulled into the side of the road to allow an ambulance to pass.
“As the truck then moved back into the carriageway, he fell from the back of the vehicle, rolled across the road and was struck by a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.”
It was unclear whether the ambulance involved was headed to the other crash scene in East End at the time.
RCIPS officers said it is illegal for individuals to ride in the open back of pickup trucks, according to the Traffic Law.
Section 82 of the law refers to ‘unsafe loads’ and reads as follows:
“Whoever drives a vehicle with a load that overhangs the vehicle or which is carried on the vehicle in a manner which is likely to cause danger to other users of the road is guilty of an offence.”