Benched fire chief faces court date

Cayman’s suspended acting fire chief will appear in court next week, charged in a January hit-and-run accident that left a 14-year-old boy hospitalized for several weeks.

John Bodden, 47, was charged last week with careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and using a vehicle with an expired license coupon, as well as using a vehicle without a certificate of roadworthiness. He is due to appear in court July 13.

Bodden has been placed on “required leave” – suspended with pay – from the Cayman Islands government, pending the outcome of the police investigation against him. For now, Acting Fire Chief Ronnie Dixon has replaced him in the fire service.

Bodden was arrested at the George Town Police Station in early June and his vehicle was seized as part of the police investigation.

The Jan. 26 car crash that led to Mr. Bodden’s arrest occurred on Shamrock Road just before 7 p.m.

The 14-year-old victim suffered serious head and leg injuries after he was struck on the pedestrian crossing outside Savannah Primary School. His 21-year-old brother was also hit while walking across the four-lane section of road. The elder brother was treated and released from the Cayman Islands Hospital shortly after the crash. The younger boy was hospitalized for several weeks. Police said Thursday that the 14-year-old has since been released from hospital.