Witness: DVDL inspector was ‘racing’

Passersby check out the wrecked sports car. - PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

A 1996 Toyota Supra that smashed into a power pole and veered into oncoming cars on Crewe Road on Monday was “speeding,” “zigzagging” and “racing” through midday traffic in George Town, according to an eyewitness who said Tuesday that her vehicle was damaged by flying debris from the crash.

What that witness, Meloney Syms, did not know – until she read it in Tuesday’s Cayman Compass – was that the man driving the sports car was an inspector with the government Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing.

The inspector, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and the man who owns the Toyota, had taken the car out for a test drive during an inspection.

According to DVDL Director David Dixon, “The employee has been released from the hospital after treatment for minor injuries and is on sick leave. As in every incident where a staff member is involved, the management of DVDL will conduct its own internal enquiry.”

The RCIPS is investigating the crash. As of press time Tuesday, no arrests had been made and no one had been charged in connection with the incident.

Ms. Syms, the Cayman Islands government’s chief of protocol, said she was surprised to learn the sports car was being “inspected” in such a manner.

“He crossed right in front of us,” she said. “We were passing Lions Centre and I was in the lane closest to the median [heading eastbound] and there was another car in the lane next to me. Here comes this reckless driver. He was zigzagging … when he passed me on my left and zigzagged behind the other car in front of me. He actually lost control then. When he crossed in front of me, he revved the car, it was as though he was racing,” she said.

‘Surreal to watch’

The crash, which vaulted the sports car over the median on Crewe Road into the westbound lanes, was surreal to watch, Ms. Syms said.

“He actually seemed like he was trying to ride up the [power] pole,” she said.

Ms. Syms said she could then see “things were falling” as a result of the collision. She pulled to the left, attempting to avoid the objects, but one of them – either a headlight from the car or a light on the power pole – struck her windshield.

The broken windscreen sprayed glass all over Ms. Syms and her mother, a passenger in her SUV. Neither was injured.

Ms. Syms says she saw the man get out of the wrecked vehicle holding his chin and bleeding from his nose or mouth.

According to other witness reports, including one from the Toyota Supra owner, Johnny Salas, the man was placed in an ambulance and taken to hospital.

Ms. Syms said the incident left her flabbergasted.

“I would like the licensing department officials to be very clear as to what happened when their staff took someone’s vehicle for a joy ride and how it impacted the lives of innocent people,” she said. “I will be following this up to the highest levels.”