New year off to deadly start

Homicide, drowning and road fatality over the weekend

The new year got off to a deadly start with three fatalities as a result of separate unnatural causes over the weekend.  

Just before midnight Friday, a man died in a fiery, one-car accident on Cayman Brac.  

According to police, the man lost control of the Honda Logo he was driving at the intersection of Ashton Reid Drive and Songbird Drive and ran into a wooden fence post. 

The vehicle caught fire, according to police, and once the fire department extinguished the blaze, they found a man behind the wheel. 

As of press time, police had not identified the driver. Police officers from Grand Cayman were on the Brac to help with the investigation.  

Hours later, the Cayman Islands’ first homicide of 2015 occurred in West Bay. Just before 3 a.m. Saturday, 22-year-old Victor Oliver Yates was shot in a restaurant on Watercourse Road. Police and emergency medical services found Mr. Yates, a West Bay resident, on the floor at Super C’s Restaurant. Emergency personnel took Mr. Yates to the Cayman Islands Hospital, where he died from his injuries. 

The Boatswains Bay area of West Bay where Mr. Yates was shot has been a trouble spot over the years. A 40-year-old man was shot in the same area in January 2009, and a 56-year-old man was shot in the immediate vicinity in July 2013. In August 2014, police responded to a report of gunfire in the area and found a number of spent shell casings and bullet holes in a house and a plywood sign. 

Another death occurred at sea on Saturday. A little after 5 p.m., police received a report of an 18-foot vessel in distress near Sand Quay, a small island in South Sound. A short time later, four people were spotted in the water. 

According to police, members of the public rendered assistance and brought the four individuals ashore, one of whom was unconscious. A doctor at the scene rendered CPR to the male but was unable to revive him. 

It was later confirmed that the four people were Cuban migrants on their way to Honduras when their vessel encountered rough seas. They attempted to seek safe harbor at Sand Quay, but their vessel was overturned by a strong wave. The three surviving migrants were transferred to the custody of the Immigration Department. 

The circumstances surrounding the water-related death of the Cuban migrant is under investigation by the Marine Department of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. 

Police ask anyone with information on the road fatality to call the Cayman Brac Police Station at 948-0331, and anyone with information on the shooting to call the West Bay Police Station at 949-3999. Members of the public with information about either incident can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-8477. 

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  1. Off to a deadly start yes, but we can break that chain by being positive. The positives may come from friends and families, or just joining a church of your choice.

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  2. One would wonder why the escaping of Cubans have spiked since the talk of negotiations between Cuba and USA for a possible opening up.
    I would have thought that they would have sit tight and wait for this great event.
    Anyway, I encourage our Island community in its continued hand of hospitality to these fleeing people in way of assisting with food, clothes and fixing their boats. We should form a refugee Help group, who can be called upon to assist when boats arrive. Persons with skills of boat repair, medical, and who can donate food and water until they leave. Doing this should take much strain off the government.

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  3. @ Twyla, where do you see that the escaping of Cubans has spiked since the talk of negotiations between Cuba and USA? This was just recently announced, has there been an abundance of migrants passing through Cayman’s water in the past few weeks ?

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  4. Michael you have your reasons for following this story and I have mine, so let us mine each other business and there should be no worrying about what I know and what you know. Correct?

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  5. Sorry to irritate you Twyla. A piece of advice, if you post comments in a public forum don’t take in personally or be surprised if someone asks for clarification on something you stated as being factual.

    It was just a question, not an attack..

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