Esterley crash takes another life

Update, 12:42pm Wednesday 17 October: The woman who died following a road crash on Esterley Tibbetts Highway on Tuesday, 16 October can now be named as Beverley Elaine Ramsay, aged 59, of Bodden Town. The driver of the Nissan box truck remains in police custody while enquiries continue.

The mother of a serving Royal Cayman Islands Police officer died Tuesday morning in what police suspected was a drink driving related wreck.

Officers arrested a man driving a Nissan UD box truck that collided with a van early Tuesday morning. The woman behind the wheel of the Hyundai van died at the scene of the crash, police said.

The male driver, who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and suspicion of DUI, was not hurt.

The wreck happened just after 6am Tuesday when the box truck headed south-bound toward George Town collided with the Hyundai van which was travelling north-bound toward West Bay.

The scene of the wreck ended up on the western lanes of the Esterley Tibbetts, 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 and for a couple of hours thereafter.

Highway’s history

The single-lane stretch of the Esterley Tibbetts Highway has seen more than its share of horrific fatal crashes over the past five years, but government has never taken any steps to divide the two lane highway.

Prior to Tuesday’s smash, the most recent fatal wreck occurred on 30 November, 2011, when St. Matthews medical student Richard Martin was killed. Police said the small Honda driven by Mr. Martin 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. It’s driver, Patrick Brooks-Dixon was convicted and sentenced to prison in connection with the crash earlier this year.

On 3 August, 2010, 24-year-old FederAnn Faustino of the 
Philippines died in a head-on crash. The 2010 crash also happened around the same time as Mr. Martin was killed – 12.30am. A teenage driver, Brooke Nowak, was arrested in connection with the crash and was sentenced to jail in the incident after pleading guilty to causing death by driving while under the influence of alcohol.

In October 2008, an attorney with Appleby died when his BMW collided with a flatbed truck near the Butterfield roundabout. Jonathan Tarboton, 38, died in the 14 October crash in which witnesses said it appeared the BMW’s accelerator had been stuck to the car’s floorboard.

On 19 November, 2007, Australian national Shaney Tania Bar-On (known in Cayman as Shaney Kol) died in a head-on collision with a Red Sail Sports SUV driver who said in court that he had nodded off while driving and veered into the opposite lane. He was sentenced to six months in prison. Mrs. Bar-On’s 18-month-old child was in her SUV with her, but the little girl was not harmed in the wreck.

Officials with the National Roads Authority have repeatedly detailed plans to widen that particular section of highway into a four-lane, divided road. However, the last estimate from the roads authority is that such work would cost approximately 
$4 million.


  1. My condolences to the family of this police officer’s mother.
    We need to close the doors of these bar rooms.
    The liquor license board needs to be abolished asap.Drivers need to have their car keys taken away or turned in to the police if they are seen sitting or getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated.

    We do not need such businesses in our community.
    People are deceived by liquor consumption.

  2. How many more lives have to be lost before the Government wakes up and realizes this has to be changed to a 2 lane highway. A single lane just results in more accidents, maiming and death. Stiffer fines for drunk driving might help, although many of these accidents weren’t related to drunk driving.

  3. Incase no one has noticed. Government is short on cash.
    They couldn’t even afford to build the Easterly tibbets highway. And even the road that’s being built now. That’s all dart money.

    So the only one who would be able to build this two lane road idea. Would be dart. Now we all know how people love to protest dart, for the sake of protesting anything dart.

    So why should he spend more money?

    I certainly would not. Not for the ingrates that keep protesting everything positive that dart is trying to do for this island.

  4. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to intervene when we see someone about to drive while intoxicated, or vandalise a building with spray paint, or bully someone smaller and weaker. The intervention may only be calling the police, or it may be as active as chasing a liquor store thief- but as a society, we cannot turn a blind eye to crime. That way lies chaos.

  5. @ big bird

    I suspect Harquail ByPass (as it was known) was built with income derived from hurricane Ivan, not Dart and was built by a government who realised the importance of moving traffic… and even though they overspent and assisted us into financial peril they deserve credit for building some good roads – something the current govt has never done (and probably never will)

  6. One possible solution: Erect a barrier down the middle of the highway. It doesn’t have to be conctrete barriers. Steel poles can be erected every x feet apart. At least it might prevent any drunk or moronically agressive drivers from getting the rest of the law abiding citizens into head-on collisions. Maybe these fools who illegally pass us because they can’t wait 5 minutes to get to the end (hint: leave 5 minutes earlier) will drive themselves into the ditch.

  7. Human errors are inherent (existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, there is nothing you can do about it. No pleading, education or traffic law would help. Solution: Designing safer roads to accommodate driver error with aim to minimize the occurrence of inappropriate speeds and other errors and their consequences.

  8. Do you really think the government cares about this stretch of road? And if they did, they don’t have the money to fix it.
    They are a broken system simply taking what they can for themselves before it goes into total melt-down.

    It’s a soft Mafia, with the Don, a whacked out drunk showing up at the next cocktail party, burbling out a few incoherent nonsensical thoughts and racing off to the next party venue. Paid all the way mind you and from many ways you can only imagine. Follow the money….

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