Vehicle inspector crashes car during test drive

This Toyota Supra, driven by an inspector at the Department of Vehicle and Drivers' Licensing, was traveling in the outbound lanes of Crewe Road when it struck a light pole and ended up in the inbound lanes. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

Johnny Salas was going to sell his 1996 Toyota Supra after getting it registered at the Cayman Islands Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing Monday.

Not anymore.

“I took my vehicle to get licensed [Monday] and whoever inspected the vehicle, they went to test the vehicle,” Mr. Salas said. “The next thing I know, people are going towards the road. I run towards the road and see my car crashed. It appears the vehicle was coming from the roundabout and it [flew] over the median.

“The inspector went for a drive and it appears that he was going pretty fast.”

The Toyota Supra crashed into a light pole, vaulted the Crewe Road median and ended up in the opposite lanes near the entrance to the First Baptist Church around 1 p.m.

“The car crashed into a light pole while being test driven by a vehicle inspector,” a Royal Cayman Islands Police Service statement indicated.

Mr. Salas, a vehicle fleet manager with the Cayman Islands Fire Service, said in the aftermath of the accident, the vehicle inspector – bleeding from the mouth – came over to apologize. “He’s said he’s sorry, he’s very sorry,” Mr. Salas recalled. “I told him when he took the car out: ”Be careful, it’s a powerful car and I love it, so just don’t go fast. And he said, ‘Yeah, yeah, I know these cars.’”

Mr. Salas said it seemed the vehicle inspectors at the department were also puzzled as to why the Toyota was being driven on the main road. Typically, inspectors drive the vehicles around the parking lot back to the building entrance following an inspection.

“Another inspector that approached me after the accident told me he couldn’t understand why the vehicle needed to be on the road,” Mr. Salas said. “I am a mechanic. I wouldn’t take a vehicle to the licensing department if it wasn’t functional.”

The Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing inspector suffered what were described as minor injuries to his face, and was taken to the hospital, police said. There was “substantial damage” to the Toyota, police said. The Caribbean Utilities Company light pole was knocked over after it was struck. CUC officials were on scene to disconnect power to the pole shortly after the crash.

No one else was injured in the crash, police said.

Asked for comment on the incident Monday, DVDL Director David Dixon said: “I do not have any of the facts until notified by the police.”

Mr. Salas said the Toyota Supra was insured and that he was in contact with the licensing department about the incident. He said he was told there would be an investigation.

“I have a guy that wants to buy the car,” he said. “Then I have someone else that contacted me from a magazine …. who wanted to take pictures of the car. It’s a nice car; well, it was a nice car.

“I actually have to contact the person now and tell him … no pictures.”


  1. This brings back memories of the fireman many years ago, who wrote off a brand new fire engine whilst doing unofficial speed turns on the airport runway.

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