Visitor causes Brac-wide power outage

Court fines and compensation total $1,940

An American visitor who hit a utility pole with his car and caused an islandwide power outage on Cayman Brac over the weekend appeared in Summary Court Wednesday, when he pleaded guilty to six charges arising from the incident.

Crown counsel Darlene Oko said the defendant, Thomas George Alexander, was driving along Gerrard Smith Avenue around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a utility pole.

Ms. Oko told Magistrate Grace Donalds that the Cayman Brac Power and Light Company sought $1,140 compensation for the outage.

Cayman Power and Light informed customers via Facebook postings on Sept. 1 that power was restored to all affected customers by 5:46 a.m.

Mr. Alexander, 36, pleaded guilty to causing damage to the vehicle he was driving, causing damage to the utility pole, taking the vehicle without the consent of the owner, driving without insurance, failing to wear a seat belt, and careless driving.

The defendant was heavily bandaged around his forehead and had several cuts and scrapes on his face.

Ms. Oko said he was still at the scene when police arrived. No alcohol was detected and Mr. Alexander said he had fallen asleep. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Because he had taken the vehicle without the owner’s consent, it was considered to be uninsured.

The vehicle owner had confirmed that there was no insurance coverage, but the defendant’s wife had offered to pay for the damage, so the owner did not wish to pursue any claim through the court.

Defense attorney Gregory Burke confirmed that payment arrangements were in place. He explained that Mr. Alexander, who is from Pennsylvania, was staying with a friend who lives in Cayman Brac.

After dinner, everyone went to bed and, as Mr. Alexander best remembered, he woke up and thought there was a store nearby that was open 24 hours a day and he decided to drive there.

After the accident, he was cooperative and as honest as his memory allowed, Mr. Burke said. Mr. Alexander was now keen to make his way home, but he wanted to apologize to the people in Cayman Brac and to the court.

Mr. Burke said his client had rearranged his flight and would be able to pay financial penalties.

For damage to the vehicle, the magistrate imposed a fine of $100. For damaging the pole, the sentence was a compensation order in the sum requested, or one month imprisonment in default.

Other fines were $250 for taking the conveyance without permission; $125 for driving without insurance; $75 for failing to wear a seat belt, and $250 for careless driving. He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a license for 12 months on the insurance offense.

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