BMW flips in morning rush hour

A BMW spun on a wet road surface and collided with a light pole before flipping onto its roof during Thursday morning’s rush hour. 

Two males who climbed out of a vehicle appeared unhurt and refused medical attention. 

The driver, 28, and passenger, 27, were found “alert and conscious” at the scene without any visible injuries on Thursday morning, police said. 

Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Chief Inspector Raymond Christian said the accident occurred just before 8 a.m. when a silver BMW traveling north on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway lost control exiting the Island Heritage roundabout. 

“It entered the roundabout in the outer lane and as the vehicle exited the roundabout the driver lost control and collided into the road medium,” Chief Inspector Christian said. 

He said fire, police and paramedics attended the scene but the men refused medical assistance. Mr. Christian said there was no record of excessive speed or driving under the influence. 

“When the road is wet, drivers should proceed with caution,” he said. “Whether it is wet or not, motorists should always respect speed limits.” 

Police statistics found that the Island Heritage roundabout was the site of about a dozen accidents between 2007 and 2012, including at least one injury, but Mr. Christian said there was nothing wrong with the roundabout. 

However, Road Safety Advisory Council chairwoman Aileen Samuel disagrees, saying she has been concerned about the island’s roundabouts for 10 years. 

“None of our roundabouts here are to code or right. Our cambers are either dead flat or they put you in the bush. They are totally wrong. And I complained bitterly about this roundabout [to the National Roads Authority] because it was too polished and they came and put two patches on it but the surface is all wrong. They are too polished and there is not enough grip in them,” Ms. Samuel said. 

“I hope this is the last accident we’re going to see on the roundabout. And I sincerely hope now they do something on the surfacing and about the centrifugal force camber on all roundabouts that are heavy loaded with traffic.” 

National Roads Authority acting managing director Paul Parchment said the authority had installed anti-skid material on a portion of the circulating path of the roundabout and would extend the application once the material arrived on island. 

“From our observations two years ago, we noted that vehicles traversing the roundabout were not decreasing their entry speeds into the roundabout when it was raining. We attributed this to the fact that the intersection is not complete as the east and west legs of the roundabout remain unbuilt, and as such vehicles entering did not really have to give way to the vehicles passing from the right,” Mr. Parchment said. 

“At that time, we installed the transverse yellow striping which made fast entries a very loud and uncomfortable entry as they essentially acted as rumble strips. We have noted that the severity and frequency of accidents had diminished since that was concluded.”  

Mr. Parchment said drivers needed to be aware that they should enter and circulate the roundabout at greatly reduced speed during wet weather.  

BMW-Accident

The BMW is seen here on its roof. Its occupants were not injured. – PHOTO: LAURA BUTTIGIEG
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3 COMMENTS

  1. The infamous poorly designed Island Heritage roundabout. No wonder we can’t get a cruise ship dock or fix the dump problem, if we don’t even have the engineering capacity to properly design simple roundabouts, and then claim they are just fine when anyone can see the issue.
    Although I do wonder about the cause of this wreck, it doesn’t look wet in the photo and I don’t remember it raining around this area yesterday morning, although to be fair I didn’t go outside until around 9 am. Usually the wetness causes people to slide off the edge though, not into the median.

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  2. Many islands use crushed glass mixed with the aggregate in the top layer of road surface – uses up waste glass and gives a very grippy surface.

    BUT come off a motorbike or even moped and it’s like a cheese grater – unless they’re wearing proper leathers – going to lose lots of skin!

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