RCIPS: Pedestrian accidents more likely to happen on George Town roads

More motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists occurred in George Town than in any other district over a 12-month period, according to data provided by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

Nearly 70% of such accidents happened in George Town, which accounted for 61 of the 88 incidents reported between July 2018 and June 2019.

One of those accidents involved cyclist Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Kirzner, 21, who was fatally struck on North Church Street on 15 April after 4am on his way to work. The driver of the GMC Yukon that killed him was found to be driving over the speed limit and on the wrong side of the road. Kirzner, 21, had moved to Cayman from Argentina less than two months prior.

Kirzner’s case was exemplary of the dangers on Caymans roads, where runners, cyclists and pedestrians complain of frequent near misses with motorists.

Eighteen pedestrian or cyclist accidents were reported for West Bay, followed by seven in Bodden Town, and two in Cayman Brac. No such accidents were reported for North Side, East End or Little Cayman.

One of the West Bay accidents involved the death of Geoff Cornwall, a triathlete whose bike struck a vehicle that had come to a stop in a cycle lane in September 2018.

While the accident reports were distributed throughout the day, afternoons from noon to 5:59pm were the worst window for pedestrian and bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles. Thirty such accidents, or one-third, occurred during afternoon hours.

Mornings, between 6am and noon, are the second most dangerous time of the day for pedestrians and cyclists, with 28 accidents being recorded then, followed by evenings, from 6pm to midnight, with 22, and overnight from midnight to 5:59am with eight.

The RCIPS also noted that February and March were the worst months in the past year for pedestrian and bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles. Of the 88 accidents, nearly one-third occurred in February and March.

Both months had 13 accidents each, and at least one of those encounters was fatal.

Early on the morning of 22 March, police in Cayman Brac discovered 55‑year-old Mitchell Marvin Ryan unresponsive on the street on Watering Place Road. Ryan had last been seen around 1am by La Esperanza Bar and Restaurant, near where he lived. The victim of a hit-and-run accident, Ryan never made it home.

Ryan was one of two pedestrians or cyclists involved in a motor vehicle accident in Cayman Brac during the period reported.

The other Brac accident involved a female cyclist, who was struck by a car on 26 July 2018 and transported to Health City in critical condition.

The RCIPS declined to provide the time, date and location of each accident, arguing that such disclosure could compromise victims’ identities.

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