Three serious weekend car collisions, including one that left two people hospitalized and in critical condition Saturday morning, put an emphatic point on the perilous conditions of Cayman’s roads so far this year.
At press time Sunday, all victims remained alive, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, including one intensive care patient who was transferred to the Health City Cayman Islands facility on Saturday from the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town.
However, the carnage occurring on local roads within the last four months has already equaled what the islands saw for the entire year in 2017.
Between Feb. 15 and May 30, a total of six people died in collisions on local roadways.
Two of those crashes involved pedestrians being struck by vehicles in lanes of traffic, one on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway bridge near the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa on April 12 and another last Monday along Shamrock Road in Savannah.
Of the other fatalities, two were single-vehicle crashes occurring in North Side and East End, and two were two-vehicle accidents in George Town and Cayman Brac.
The deadly wrecks come amid stepped up traffic enforcement efforts by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, which staffed up its Traffic and Roads Policing Unit to 13 officers, led by Inspector Ian Yearwood, last year.
The traffic unit has recorded an increased number of collisions, particularly on the weekends in Grand Cayman, since last year. According to traffic statistics, the number of vehicle accidents more than doubled between 2016 and 2017.
The number of arrests for various traffic offenses has also seen an uptick since the start of this year. For instance, in just one week, between May 7 and May 13, police issued 66 speeding tickets and made 11 arrests for drunken driving.
“We hope that it is clear to the public that this is the new normal for traffic enforcement,” said Inspector Yearwood. “We will continue to target and prosecute those who use the roads in an unsafe manner in order to deter others from doing so.”
Three women and one man were all hospitalized early Saturday following a one-car wreck along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway at the southern end of a construction site where the two-lane portion of the road is being widened to four. Two remained hospitalized as of Sunday afternoon.
One critically injured female passenger was initially taken to Cayman Islands Hospital, but later transferred to Health City in East End. A male passenger remained in critical condition Sunday in George Town. The other two women in the vehicle were treated and released Saturday.
Police said it appeared the vehicle involved veered off the road at a bend north of the Lakeside apartment complex and smashed into a bulldozer that was parked in the grass just off the main lanes.
The smash was one of three serious vehicle accidents that happened in the overnight period between Friday night and Saturday morning. Details on the other two incidents were not available by press time.