Anthony Wesley Scott Jr. was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to causing the death of Thomas Rupert Hubbell Jr. by careless driving on June 30, 2016.
Mr. Hubbell’s injuries were such that he had remained in a vegetative state from the date of the single-car collision until he died on June 12, 2017. Mr. Hubbell, 44, was the son of Cayman aviation and scuba diving pioneer Tom Hubbell Sr.
Mr. Scott had previously pleaded guilty to careless driving; after Mr. Hubbell’s death, the charge was amended and Mr. Scott pleaded guilty again.
Justice Marlene Carter said the close friendship that had existed between the two men and Mr. Scott’s own injuries were mitigating factors, as submitted by defense attorney Crister Brady.
Mr. Brady had told the court that, during Mr. Hubbell’s lingering condition, Mr. Scott had stayed in contact with his family.
With a sentencing range of community service up to two years’ imprisonment for careless driving in this case, she imposed a term of two years’ probation with the requirement that Mr. Scott obey orders pertaining to attendance for counseling.
Facts set out at a previous hearing by senior Crown counsel Candia James were that Mr. Scott was the driver of the vehicle heading into George Town along Shamrock Road in the vicinity of Spotts Dock around 4:50 p.m. It was not his car, but he had the owner’s permission to drive it.
His average speed was 40 mph – the posted speed in the area. When the vehicle in front of him slowed down, indicating an intention to turn, Mr. Scott swerved because he had been driving too close and he hit a utility pole.
Justice Carter referred to a social inquiry report, which said Mr. Scott still found it difficult to speak about his friend, who was also a co-worker. Guilt weighed heavily on him and the social worker said he appeared to need counseling.
The judge said it was difficult to arrive at a proper sentence where a moment of inattention can cause such catastrophic damage, not only in loss of life, but in the lives of family members of the deceased, and the defendant’s own life.
Where the level of carelessness is low, even the fact of death caused is not sufficient for imprisonment, the judge said.
If Mr. Scott fails to attend counseling sessions as required, he will be brought back for resentencing, the judge told him.