Four people are dead and two others remain in the hospital following a horrific two-car crash in East End Tuesday (2 May) many consider the worst in Cayman’s recent history.
The two survivors are a 26-year-old Jamaican man and an 11-year-old boy. The man remains unconscious in serious but stable condition at the Cayman Islands Hospital. The boy is conscious and in stable condition.
A 22-year-old Jamaican man and three visitors from the UK lost their lives in the wreck.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Wednesday (3 May) held a press conference to detail their version of events.
Police say around 7:17 p.m. Tuesday (2 May) a squad car was traveling east on a stretch of Austin Conolly Dr. and passed a black Honda Accord traveling the opposite direction. Police say the squad car radar registered that car was speeding faster than the posted 30-mile-per hour limit in that area. RCIPS Chief Inspector Frank Owens declined to specify how fast the car was going.
“The officer simply saw he was driving and his radar highlighted the speed, which was excessive in the area,” Mr. Owens said. “The single-crewed police vehicle then stopped, activated the blue lights and upon turning around, the Honda Accord was out of sight. A short time later the police officer came upon the vehicle collision.”
A silver Kia Rio rental vehicle was traveling east on Austin Conolly Dr. at the same time. Police say the Honda crossed the centre line and the cars collided head-on.
Mr. Owens says it was a matter of “minutes” between the officer activating the squad lights and discovering the crash.
“There was no police pursuit,” he said.
Three people in the silver Kia — a 72-year-old man, his 74-year-old wife and a 69-year-old relative — all died in the crash.
The driver of the black Honda, a 22-year-old man died as well but the two passengers in that car survived. Police believe those passengers were not sitting in proper seats.
“Early indications suggest the two male passengers in the Honda vehicle were traveling in the open trunk of the vehicle,” Mr. Owens said.
Those two remain in the hospital.
Mr. Owens also addressed social media rumours that those in the Honda were poaching conch.
“The Honda Accord did have several conch on board,” he said, before clarifying he was not suggesting that had anything to do with why the vehicle attracted police attention.
“The speed limit in that location is 30-miles-per hour. They were recorded in excess of that speed.”
Mr. Owens says he was unable to answer several questions about seat belts, exact locations of the cars nor whether alcohol was involved because the ongoing investigation is in its early stages.
“Obviously this is such a tragic accident and loss of life,” he said.
Police are appealing for any witnesses to contact Sergeant Butler at 936-5958, the RCIPS Traffic Unit at 946-6254, the George Town CID at 949-4222, or the RCIPS anonymous tip line, 949-7777. Alternatively you can call the anonymous Miami-based Crime Stoppers tip line at 800-TIPS (8477).
Police believe the three visitors involved in the incident may have close friends or family that live in Cayman and they’re hoping to speak with them as soon as possible.
The RCIPS is not naming the victims as yet as they’re going through the process of notifying the next of kin.
Police say they’re investigating whether CCTV cameras in the area can assist them.