The traffic case involving a Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing vehicle inspector who crashed a car he was test driving on July 11 has gone to local prosecutors for a ruling.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service confirmed that officers submitted a case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration last week. It is now up to the Crown to determine whether any charges will be pursued.
As of last month, the vehicle inspector was still working at the department following a brief period of absence for medical leave, DVDL Director David Dixon said.
Civil service officials, including Mr. Dixon, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, Ministry of Planning Chief Officer Alan Jones and Deputy Chief Officer Tristan Hydes, did not respond to queries sent on Aug. 28 about the vehicle inspector’s status.
The RCIPS and the DVDL are conducting separate investigations into the midday accident during which a 1996 Toyota Supra vaulted a median on Crewe Road and went into the opposite lanes of traffic after knocking down a power pole.
The police and the vehicle’s owner, fire services fleet manager Johnny Salas, have confirmed that a department vehicle inspector was driving the car when it crashed. A witness, Meloney Syms, who is the Cayman Islands government’s chief of protocol, said the inspector was “zigzagging” in and out of lanes on Crewe Road and appeared to be “racing” in the Toyota.
On July 15, Mr. Dixon responded to questions about the incident and the inspector’s status with the department. He returned to work on July 18.
“Our internal investigations continue and until such time [as they are completed], we cannot make any presumption as to the inspector’s innocence or guilt,” Mr. Dixon said.
“The appropriate action will be taken when that process is completed. The vehicle inspector remains as a member of staff with the DVDL.”
During a Cayman Compass interview on July 11, Mr. Salas said he was told by another DVDL inspector at the accident scene that vehicles are typically not taken off DVDL property during inspections.
“[The] 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.”
Mr. Dixon said section 63 of the Cayman Islands Traffic Law (2011 Revision) allows for DVDL inspectors to test vehicles “in any place and time.”
“DVDL has and continues to test vehicles on public road[s] since the 1960s,” he said.
Mr. Dixon said no further comment would be made regarding the July 11 accident until the police and licensing department’s internal investigations were completed. He did not give a date for when that might occur.