One dead, one arrested following Esterley Tibbetts crash

Update #2: Police have reported that the Esterley Tibbetts Highway reopened early Tuesday afternoon.

Update: The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has confirmed the
woman killed in Tuesday morning’s accident is a relative of a serving
police officer. 

A woman died and a man was arrested following a collision involving a box truck and a van early Tuesday morning that closed a portion of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway between the Camana Bay and Butterfield roundabouts.

The female driver of the Hyundai died at the scene, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. Police arrested the uninjured male driver of the Nissan box truck on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and suspicion of DUI.

At about 6.07am, the box truck, which was travelling toward George Town, collided with the Hyundai van, which was travelling toward West Bay, according to police.

The scene of the wreck was on the west side of the one-lane highway, just north of the Paddington storage property.

The white box truck lay on its left side in the west shoulder of the road facing north. The truck sustained damage to its right front. The steering wheel is on the left hand side.

The gray van, which had taxi licence plates, lay across the west lane of the road, facing east. The right front end of the van is demolished.

The closure of the section of the highway caused cars to be rerouted to West Bay Road and slowed traffic considerably during the morning rush hour.

Police said they will provide further updates later.


  1. Too many times have my wife or I traveled on this road and had to swerve out of the way of oncoming traffic trying to overtake! Or people trying to overtake us, only to get stuck right in front of us at the roundabout at either end!

    I’m sick of careless drivers on this island!

    People, get it into your heads: You DO NOT SAVE ANY TIME BY OVERTAKING and driving wrecklessly!

    The wreckless driver should be held accountable!

  2. Time and again this stretch of road is the site of a fatal crash, proving to be one of the most dangerous roads on Cayman. Mix that with drunk drivers and no police enforcement there looking for aggressive drivers who overtake other vehices and you have a recipe for disaster. If the road cannot be expanded to create lanes separated by a large median, then maybe it’s time to consider a tall concrete divider between the existing lanes.

  3. The road isnt dangerous! The driving habits of some are! A straight road is hardly dangerous….people just need to learn how to drive sensibly..and without drink!

  4. Until all the facts of the case have been presented blame should not be placed on any party. If you did not witness the accident you should not assume that the surviving or deceased party are at fault.

    I do agree that people need to cautious of the manner in which they drive on the road especially the over taking. At 6 in the morning there is no reason to be speeding or over taking.

    I hope that investigators do a proper investigation into the matter and do not wrongfully ruin a man’s life of evidence shows teh accident was not his fault.

  5. Triple K – the road is dangerous, it is badly designed. You can drive very safely, suffer a tyre blowout, and bang, you hit the a lamp post, or power pole. They’re set too near to the traffic. This can also occur if you’re on a motorbike in the wet, and you ride over some dropped oil or fuel.

    Traffic generally doesn’t go at 40mph, there is nothing to keep the lanes separated in the event of a blowout, or an idiot.

    Whoever decided not to put in a filter lane for turning into Lakeside/National Gallery isn’t familiar with human nature.

    The road is dangerous.

  6. Pattieman – Triple K is correct, the road is not dangerous it is the idiots driving on it that are dangerous. Your comments could be said about ALL roads, ooooh what about the dangerous West Bay Road and all those concrete walls lining the condo complexes that are set too near to the traffic!!! In regards to Lakeside/National Gallery if the lazy ass idiots follow the road signs then we wouldn’t have a problem would we. We need a driving test like the UK for everyone plus a good dose of common sense. But that would be asking too much now wouldn’t it?

  7. Puss in Boots – did you actually read, and then comprehend what I said? The road, any road is an inanimate object, they’re all inherently ‘safe’ according to your definition.

    My point is that when designing roads, you design them with the morons who are going to use them in mind. People do speed, people do overtake, drink/drive, use cell phones, drive with poor eyesight etc. Good road design reduces these risks.

    Ooooh, West Bay Road is dangerous – yes, you’re right. Ever seen a car hit a solid object at anything above 20mph?

  8. There should be a rigidly enforced speed limit of 30 mph all over Cayman. The time saved by driving faster than that is negligible compared with the deaths and injuries, costs to us all of family grief, medical care, judicial proceedings etc.
    And anyone breaking the limit should be prosecuted, dealt with severely – particularly if DUI -, after the second offence have his licence removed and his car confiscated.
    I am not a bicycle salesman, merely one who observes sadly the terrible decline in behaviour and responsibility of our people.

  9. Human have inherent (existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, or attribute)limitations- they must rely on three fallible mental functions: perception, attention and memory. People driving down a highway are bombarded with a steady flow of information. Most of the information is visual input, the road itself, other vehicles, pedestrians, signs, the passing scenery, etc. Moreover, the driver may be processing other information sources such as auditory input (listening to the radio, talking on a cell phone, carrying on a conversation with another passenger), or internal input (remembering directions or planning what to make for dinner).If the visual information flow is low, there may be enough mental resource to carry on all tasks simultaneously. But attentional demands may exceed supply when:

    the flow becomes a torrent (driving fast)
    the information is low quality (poor visibility)
    resources must be focused on a particular subset of information (a car close ahead)
    the driver’s capacity is lowered by age, drugs, alcohol or fatigue, experience.
    There may not be enough mental resource for all tasks. The driver then attends only a subset of the available information, which is used to make decisions and to respond. All other information goes unnoticed or slips from memory. Research has shown that accidents occur for one of three principle reasons. The first is perceptual error. Sometimes critical information was below the threshold for seeing – the light was too dim, the driver was blinded by glare, or the pedestrian’s clothes had low contrast. In other cases, the driver made a perceptual misjudgment (a curve’s radius or another car’s speed or distance). The second, and far more common cause, is that the critical information was detectable but that the driver failed to attend/notice because his mental resources were focused elsewhere. Often times, a driver will claim that s/he did not see a plainly visible pedestrian or car. This is entirely possible because much of our information processing occurs outside of awareness. the driver may correctly process the information but fail to choose the correct response. Etc. Etc. YOU CAN’T CHANGE THAT WITH YOUR PLEADING TO DRIVE SAFELY, WITH STRICT TRAFFIC LAWS or WITH EDUCATION. IT IS INHERENT HUMAN Limitation. Proper road design is crucial to prevent human errors and mitigate damage and injury in traffic accidents, and less
    Human errors will result in fewer accidents.

  10. @Pattie man:
    I disagree….if you look at most of the accidents on that road they have nothing to do with the poles etc that are too close to the road. They are majority head-ons from overtaking and/or DUI, (talking generally not about this particular incident). It is stupid driving which causes danger NOT that particular road. I will agree on one thing..the lakeside apts entrance is illogical but it is also only a matter of meters where there is a roundabout to turn and be facing the wrong way…people are lazy and inconsiderate.

  11. How many more serious and/or fatal accidents must occur before drivers are fully aware of the fact that operating a vehicle must not be treated lightly. Therefore, to drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or anything that would negatively affect a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely is not an option.

    It is far too easy to blame the road or highway for the cause of some accidents when the real reason is definitely the driver’s fault. Statistics show that far too many vehicular accidents are caused by speed, cell phone use (talking, texting, emails, etc), or DUI). Illegally overtaking another vehicle is not too much of a common occurence.

    I think it boils down to irresponsibility and total disregard for others and their safety. Remember the old saying, drive unto others as you would them drive unto you.

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