Driver guilty of reckless death

| 04/07/2011

(CNS): A jury of five men and two women has found Veramae Watson (50) guilty of causing death by reckless driving. Watson was convicted on Friday, 1 July, of killing bus driver Edwin Edwards in 2007 when the trailer she was pulling became detached from her Jeep Cherokee along Bodden Town Road near Caribbean Haven and careered across the road in the path of the bus. The jury found that the defendant had not taken proper care to secure the home-made trailer, which was full of rocks. During the week long trial the jury heard that Watson had tried to secure the badly fitting tow ball and donut attachment on the trailer with bungee cords (rubber straps).

During the trial the court heard Kenneth Ferguson for the prosecution and Clyde Allen for the defence narrow down the case for the jury to the simple question of whether Watson had taken due care and attention to secure the trailer or whether she had acted either recklessly or dangerously in the way she had attached it.

On 21 September 2007, Watson was driving her car and the trailer towards George Town having come from East End. Just before she reached Caribbean Haven the trailer came loose and heading into the path of Edwards who was driving the number 4 bus to East End. According to the evidence, the driver was driving above the speed limit and in his efforts to avoid the trailer he swerved and hit a tree. He died in hospital in Jamaica around ten days after the smash from his injuries.

During the trial the jury was shown demonstrations and various expert evidence was given about the strength of the straps used by the defendant. However, the crown claimed that the use of incompatible equipmentsecured with inappropriate straps was a reckless and dangerous act, despite the claims of the weight the straps could stand by the experts.

Ferguson noted that it would have been obvious to any careful and competent driver looking at the equipment used that as it was incompatible, it was unsafe and that the rubber straps were clearly insufficient to secure the two parts.

Allen said that Watson was driving neither recklessly nor dangerously. A witness had testified driving behind Watson for some time before the accident and had been frustrated by the speed she was driving as the witness was late for the airport.

He said Watson had taken due care by using the straps to ensure the trailer attachment was secure. He also stated that having already driven the trailer from George Town to East End without incident, she had further reason to believe the trailer was safe. Moreover, Allen said, there was no evidence that his client had looked at the trailer attachment and thought, "This is not safe but I’m driving it regardless," as he asked the jury to find his client not guilty.

However, offered two possible counts based on causing death by either dangerous or reckless driving, the jury found Watson guilty of causing death by reckless driving.

Watson is listed to be sentenced on Friday, 8 July, in Grand Court five.

Category: Crime

Comments (25)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Alan Nivia says:

    If she was such an honest Christian woman, why did she not plead guilty?  Why did she try to escape punishment?

    Imagine if your spouse or child was injured or killed by this woman's criminal selfishness.  What would you say then?  What sentene would you impose?  There is no excuse for this atrocious conduct.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Everyday in fact all day long people refuse to click on their traffic indicator. What will everyone say when that causes a death to people or a child?? Especially on the round about.

  3. truth says:

    This is all about taking responsibility for your actions period.  Its not about punishment, replacing what was taken, or good versus bad.  This is a basic rule and law of civilization.  Get used to it or just do nothing and watch Cayman go back to the ways of pirate lords.  Your almost there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    lets see…..she is going under the speed limit, by quite a bit, and he is speeding.  She has an unsafe trailer.  He is going so fast that he loses control while trying to avoid the trailer and hits a tree.  She causes and accident, absolutely, and should be accountable.  However, my question is had he NOT been breaking the law would this accident have resulted in his death?  As someone stated earlier, it is sad and everyone loses.  This will haunt this woman the rest of her life, whether see goes to prison or not.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sad case but someone lost his life.

  6. No Excuses says:

    "Good Christians" think of others and don't put others at risk.  There must be no excuses to minimise the punishment of this horrific criminal act.

  7. Absurdistani says:

    So sad. No one wins in this scenario.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is a very sad case. I see no mention as to whether the trailer was licensed or insured, as is required under the law. As I drive around, every day I observe vehicles towing trailers which ought to have a license tag, but do not have one. If in fact Ms. Watson had her trailer licensed and insured, her insurance company would indemnify her financially. If not, in addition to the trauma of a life lost, she could be bankrupted. Little publicity is given to this common breaking of the law, and little action seems to be taken by the police to stop it. This should change. All trailers should be insured, inspected and licensed. My sincerest sympathy to the bereaved in this unfortunate event.

  9. Ron Melancom says:

    Please go to http://www.dangeroustrailers.org and take note we have the information and education to prevent this from happening over and over again.

    Go to our web site and find out that because of our web site a company has found a solution that would have prevented this needless death.  Prevented this person who caused this death from going to jail.

    see the lock on our web site R-Secur-T!!!

    Homemade trailers need to be banned until they are proven safe.

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    …. 3.5 years to figure out she was guilty?  Something is clearly wrong with the system. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Causing death by being extremely stupid is still manslaughter. She may be a nice person but I know I would not want my life to be put at extreme risk but someone who did it on purpose or not. Dead is Dead.

    • Anonymous says:

      can't they appeal and she get a suspended sentence based on good character. It was an Accident. Also what about a heavy fine as well.

      She's no drunking driver. XXXXX

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed!  what about the DRUNK and SPEEDING drivers who kill people accidently? Most of them are given but a slap on the wrist……..she is NOT a speeder nor a drinker and if the road was repaired and NOT have a DIP in it that caused the trailer to become unhitched and the fact that the driver was coming full speed ahead  without paying attention to the road, whilst  having both hands filled with dollar bills and counting them at the same time (confirmed by a passenger witness that was on the bus) He could have also avoided the runaway trailer. but because of his lack of attention to the road ahead, he also contributed to the accident!!!!! Lets see she is a single mother and I feel that she should have been given a suspended sentence!!!! THANK YOU MAGISTRATE!!! 

         

          

  12. Anonymous says:

    What disgusting behaviour.  This needs to be punished heavily.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Now apply this same principle to cell phone users.

    • Anonymous says:

      Knowing this Lady she is a very upright, kind , careful, responsible and above adevoted christian. I am certain that she did not think that her trailer was in any danger of being driven on the road. She is an example of a mother to this Country. I feel very sorry for her, and of course for the life lost as well, but she would not have killed an ant out if she could avoid it. Having to go to Prison for something that she did not do on purpose will not bring back the poor life and her lovely little girl will be the sufferer for this. I just wish that every Woman in the Cayman Islands would take her as a role model in rearing their children.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lets give some thought to the person who lost their life needlessly.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          A trailer filled with rocks fastened loosely with bungee cords?  You can't make this stuff up!  

          • Anonymous says:

            Sounds like a deadly sling shot too me…….

            • Anonymous says:

              Throwing this poor woman in prison is notgoing to bring back a life. Anyhow knowing Watson she will take a bad situation and turn it into good. Before her time is over she will probally turn everyone in the prison and working there into Christians.Sorry my good friend I know how sorry you are too.God bless you and your beautiful daughter. Who God bless let NO MAN curse.

              • Anonymous says:

                "Throwing this poor woman in prison is not going to bring back a life"

                You could say that about locking up a serial killer

                The point is she made mistake that cost someone their life, they had a family who loved them.

                If you do not pay by sacrifice for your mistakes you will not learn from them

                According to your philosophy we should not lock up drink drivers either.

                Actions have consequences, this should be a good lesson to you

      • A Guy says:

        What has being a devoted christian got to do with anything?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, no kidding! Not to mention numerous unsafe loads I still see almost every day on pick-ups including personnel/friends/family which I thought was banned already after the last victim who flew whatever amount of feet out of the pick-up truck after colliding with an upcoming vehicle.

      Enforcement!! Hellooo…….where are you????

    • No Really, Really now says:

       I agree with you post 07/04/2011 – 17:50. But they cant inforce this cell phone laws cause this mean the police couldnt be on there phones and drive, and we just cant have that now can we. What a mess.