Update 11am Friday: Police confirmed the 11-year-old boy injured in Tuesday’s fatal accident in East End has been discharged from the hospital as of late Thursday.
The 26-year-old male passenger who was injured in the crash remains hospitalized in “stable” condition, according to police.
Original story: The Royal Cayman Islands Police officer who initially responded to the scene of Tuesday night’s quadruple-fatal car crash in East End district has been targeted in what department officials described as a “criminal damage” incident.
According to police, the officer’s private vehicle was vandalized at his residence Wednesday night – about 24 hours after the East End crash that killed three U.K. tourists and a Jamaican work permit holder.
Police Chief Inspector Frank Owens said the criminal damage incident has “added further stress to [the officer] and traumatized his wife and young child.”
“We believe [the damage incident] was connected to Tuesday night’s crash and response,” Mr. Owens said.
Police Commissioner Derek Byrne responded angrily to the news in a public statement released Thursday afternoon: “I find this incident very troubling, where an officer is diligently going about his work to protect and serve the community, is a first responder and witness to a tragic motor vehicle accident with multiple deaths, and in his own district where he lives and works, is targeted with the threat of violence and damage to his personal property.
“This is akin to an attack on Cayman society and the criminal justice system. This is reprehensible and every effort will be brought to bear to locate and arrest those responsible.”
A number of bystanders at the horrific fatality scene Tuesday night alleged that the responding police officer was “chasing” a Honda Accord that slammed head-on into a rented Kia Rio that was heading in the opposite direction on Austin Conolly Drive around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.
However, police have maintained the officer’s response was not a pursuit and could not reasonably be interpreted as such.
Chief Inspector Owens said the Honda Accord was headed toward Bodden Town on Austin Conolly Drive when it sped past a police vehicle. The police vehicle was headed in the opposite direction, but turned around when it saw the speeding vehicle. Mr. Owens said a police mobile radar device inside the patrol vehicle clocked the Honda traveling over the 30 mile-an-hour speed limit.
“On turning around, the Honda Accord was out of sight,” Mr. Owens said. “A short time later, the police officer came upon the vehicle collision. There was no police pursuit.”
Mr. Owens said the officer decided to follow the car because it was traveling at excessive speed. He said it was later discovered that two Honda passengers, including an 11-year-old boy, were riding in the trunk of the vehicle. Those two passengers, identified as 26-year-old Fitzroy Green and 11-year-old Joshua McFarlane, survived the crash.
The Honda’s driver, identified as 22-year-old Shanroy Delapena, died at the crash scene. Local businessman Paul Berry confirmed Mr. Delapena worked at his East End farm. Both Mr. Green and Mr. Delapena were originally from Jamaica and in Cayman on work permits, according to police. Mr. Green was still listed in critical condition at the Cayman Islands Hospital as of Thursday. The 11-year-old boy was expected to recover from his injuries.
The three elderly tourists who died in the Kia Rio Tuesday night were identified as Ian Mansell, 72, his wife Pamela Mansell, 74, and Mrs. Mansell’s sister, 69-year-old Marlene Wright.
All were residents of Farnham, Surrey in the U.K. Public records listed Mr. Mansell as a former director of an IT and business solutions company which was dissolved in 2013.
According to reports in the Farnham Herald newspaper, Mr. Mansell was a long-serving member of the Rotary Club of Farnham Weyside and he and Mrs. Mansell were very active in Dockenfield, where they lived. He and his wife had no children, according to the paper. The couple owned a timeshare at the Morritt’s Tortuga resort where they were staying on Grand Cayman, according to resort General Manager Jose Kirchman. They were regular visitors since 2009, Mr. Kirchman said.