Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officials said the suspect, a 31-year-old male, was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI and causing death by dangerous driving.
The man killed in the wreck, identified as St. Matthew’s University graduate student Richard Martin, 52, was apparently giving another St. Matthew’s student a ride around 12.30am Wednesday.
St. Matthew’s Dean of Basic Sciences, Dr. Senthil Kumar, said Mr. Martin and the younger student had been studying late Tuesday and the younger student had asked Mr. Martin for a ride home.
Mr. Kumar said the entire school was devastated by Mr. Martin’s death.
“We feel ashamed that because of such a reckless act … we lost a real asset to the community,” Mr. Kumar said. “Students are struggling to cope, people are just crying out loud at the school today.”
According to police and witnesses at the scene, Mr. Martin’s Honda Logo was headed northbound near Lakeside Villas on the Esterley Tibbetts. The turn off into the condo complex is just off the northbound lanes of the highway.
Police said the small Honda was struck by a Chevrolet Blazer, which was apparently driving the wrong way in the northbound lanes and veering off into the shoulder when the accident occurred.
The Honda Logo ended up across the road on the southbound lanes, nearly 400 feet away from the point of impact. The Chevy SUV landed upright in the bushes just off the road.
Mr. Martin’s passenger was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A man and a woman in the Blazer were also hospitalised, but were expected to survive. The Chevy’s 31-year-old driver was arrested shortly after the wreck. The Caymanian Compass is not naming the Chevy driver since no charges had been filed in the case as of press time.
Witnesses to the accident described a horror scene as Mr. Martin’s passenger in the Honda screamed while on-lookers tried to cut the accident victim out of the car. It was believed the SUV’s driver was trying to turn into the Lakeside complex from the wrong direction when the crash occurred.
Wednesday’s crash was the sixth fatal wreck to occur in the Cayman Islands so far in 2011. It is also at least the fourth deadly wreck to occur along that two-lane stretch of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway since 2007.
Please see much more on this story in Thursday’s Caymanian Compass…