Driver went off road, hit boulder

Coroner’s Jury hears evidence of speed, alcohol, no seat belt

Excessive speed was one of the factors considered in a road accident that led to the death of Reuben Andre Forbes, a Coroner’s Jury heard during a recent inquest. 

Jurors and Queen’s Coroner Eileen Nervik received evidence from Stacy Ann Stewart, traffic accident investigator and reconstructionist, about a collision that occurred in the early hours of 31 October, 2009, in the area of Lovers Wall in East End. Mr. Forbes, 20, was driving a Chevrolet Silverado truck in the direction of George Town. He had a passenger in the front seat and one in the back seat. 

Ms Stewart explained there is a slight right-hand bend in the road prior to where the truck went off the road way. The safest speed at which that bend could be travelled was 95.15 miles per hour, she calculated. The speed limit is 50 mph. 

Excessive speed for the curvature means that a driver would be unable to keep the vehicle on the roadway, Ms Stewart indicated. 

In this case, Mr. Forbes’s truck went onto the shoulder and then into bush. The truck dug up grass and cliff rock until it travelled into a large boulder, pushing it some 24 feet. Evidence included a photo showing the size of the boulders compared with the truck and pictures of damage to the truck. The left side doors were compressed shut due to the left side frontal impact. 

There was no stretching of the driver or passenger seat belts nor markings on the belt latches; this indicated that the seat belts were not being worn at the time of the incident, Ms Stewart said. 

She also advised that lighting was good in the area, with three street lamps and a full moon that night. The road itself was in good repair. 

Pathologist Shravana Jyoti said the physical cause of death was severe blunt force injury to the abdomen and head, resulting in a huge laceration to the liver and brain injury. 

Tests for recreational drugs were negative. However, the blood alcohol level was .148. The legal limit in Cayman is .100. 

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure. 


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