Two American citizens died Sunday following a one-vehicle rollover crash in Cayman Brac and a third man was seriously injured in the late afternoon accident.
One of the deceased, a 54-year-old optometrist from Kansas, was not found until three-and-a-half hours after the accident was reported.
According to initial information from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, a Honda Odyssey van with two men inside ran off the road on South Side Road East around 5:15 p.m. Sunday. No other vehicles were involved.
The crash killed Topeka, Kansas, construction company owner Douglas Carney, 50, and left longtime Cayman Brac resident and American citizen Robert “Bob” Barbera, 48, in the Cayman Islands Hospital’s critical care unit where he was transferred overnight. Mr. Barbera was conscious Monday following surgery and appeared to be recuperating, police said.
Officers did not immediately indicate who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.
During their investigation of the crash, RCIPS officers were informed that a third man had been seen with the two crash victims in the van earlier in the day. However, that man – Dr. Mark L. Bettencourt, also from Kansas and visiting the Brac since Friday – was not found at the crash scene late Sunday afternoon. “Officers then made further checks of the area while the fire department assisted with the lifting of the vehicle … which was overturned,” a police statement on the crash indicated. “At around 8:45 p.m., the body of the 54-year-old male was discovered underneath the vehicle.”
He was pronounced dead at the crash scene.
Dr. Bettencourt worked in Wamego, Kansas, as one of two optometrists at Vision Source. He had been practicing in the Wamego area since 1994 after receiving his degree from the University of Houston in 1986.
He is survived by a wife, three daughters and a son.
Mr. Carney was the owner of Doug Carney Construction Inc. in Topeka, a home construction firm. The business was established in 2001, according to publicly available records.
Mr. Carney owned a condominium in Cayman Brac, where he resided.
The last time two people died in a single-car crash in Cayman Brac was in July 2007.
That accident occurred when the vehicle in which a man and a woman, both 45, were traveling smashed head-on into a tree. Both were Cayman Brac residents.
However, 2015 has been a particularly deadly year on the roads for the small island, which has a population of around 2,000. Two men died in separate accidents there in January.
Cayman Brac vehicle crashes have accounted for four of the nine fatalities as a result of vehicle accidents in the three Cayman Islands during 2015.