Family members in Cayman and Jamaica are grieving the passing of Denvil Mitchell in a late Sunday motorcycle-SUV crash on Grand Cayman.
Mr. Mitchell, 40, originally from the Milk River district in Clarendon parish in Jamaica, had lived in Cayman for more than a decade and was married to the eldest daughter of West Bay MLA Capt. Eugene Ebanks.
“The district is in mourning today,” said Mr. Mitchell’s friend Carlton Williams, referring to Milk River in Jamaica where Mr. Mitchell was born.
Mr. Williams received a call shortly after Sunday’s fatal accident, but said he and Chris Johnson, a cousin of Mr. Mitchell’s, did not realize the seriousness of the crash at first.
“We thought it was just something minor,” he said. They attended the Cayman Islands Hospital later Sunday night to find Mr. Mitchell had died.
“He was a good, jovial person, very friendly,” Mr. Williams said. “I was shocked [by the death].”
“He was always having his jokes,” added Mr. Johnson.
The two believe Mr. Mitchell had been at a pool tournament in East End earlier in the evening and was on his way back. Mr. Johnson said Mr. Mitchell had phoned him just before the crash occurred to say he was coming over to Mr. Johnson’s house.
Mr. Mitchell was described by the two as a motorcycle enthusiast and they noted he “knew how to handle a bike.” Neither man wished to comment on how they believed the accident occurred.
A family meeting was held Monday night at Capt. Eugene’s home in West Bay for grieving relatives.
Police arrested the 53-year-old driver of a Kia SUV who was suspected of drunken driving and causing death by dangerous driving. The Kia collided with Mr. Mitchell’s motorbike along Shamrock Road in Savannah across from the Countryside Shopping Centre just after 8 p.m. Sunday. No charges had been filed as of press time Tuesday.
Mr. Mitchell has a 12-year-old son from a previous relationship who lives in Jamaica.
He worked for the Cayman Islands National Roads Authority as a machine operator between 2006 and this year, with a brief break between 2010 and 2011.
Many of his relatives still live in Jamaica, including brothers, a sister and other close relatives, Mr. Johnson said, but Cayman was where he had made his home.
“This is where he was planning to stay for the rest of his life,” Mr. Johnson said.