Driver pleads guilty to road death

| 08/07/2011

(CNS): Jared Morgan has pleaded guilty to causing the death of Matthew Bodden (23) on Shamrock Road last year by dangerous driving. Bodden died following a crash which occurred around 10:20pm on Friday 15 January 2010, close to Wil T Drive, involving a Honda Torneo and a Toyota Altezza travelling east on Shamrock Road. Prosecutors say that Morgan, who was driving the Honda, attempted to negotiate a right hand bend when he apparently lost control of the vehicle and collided with a concrete fence. The vehicle spun and debris flew across the roadway striking two oncoming vehicles.

The four male occupants of the Honda where thrown from the car and the Toyota, which had been travelling close behind, collided with the Honda. Although all three passengers from the Honda were injured, Bodden was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital and Morgan was arrested.

During his court appearance Morgan surrendered his driver’s license and wasordered not to drive. He was released on bail pending sentencing, which is expected to take place 2 September after a social enquiry report is completed.

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  1. navado says:

    The best way to lower the vehicular fatalities on the roads of cayman are not to raise insurance premiums or raise the age at which one can obtain a drivers license but to actually take time to teach the individulas to drive PORPERLY, i attempted to get my drivers license in jamaica and i can assure you it was extremely difficult 10 times as difficult as the test here and i failed, after passing the test for cayman i looked back and noticed that there were alot of points missing from my test here than in jamaica not saying jamaica has the best drivers in the world or whatever but i'm sure they could at least make the driving exams much more challenging and actually make these young ones use their minds for once, THEY NEED to start thinking ahead BEFORE they can get ahead. mind you i'm also a young teenage driver and i've learnt pretty fast that a vehicle has as much respect for you as you give it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    When my son is old enough to drive he is getting a clapped out old banger that barely makes it from a to b.  Regardless how much money we have.  I was thinking an old jeep – safe, kinda cool and doesn't go fast.  Why do parents buy their young sons fancy fast cars?  They are being propelled by heavy doses of testosterone at that age and it just gives them the motivation to risk their lives to show off to their friends and the girls.

    If he wants to go fast I will get him a year membership to the gocarting track or maybe even buy a jet ski…..but fast car? Hell no.

    • Dwindling Hope says:

      I agree with you there. The problem is that when they become that age and particularly if they're working you really can't prevent them from purchasing a car. Maybe what's needed is either a higher driving age or restrictions on the number of cars per household.

  3. Anonymous says:


    Do like they do in Australia.

    Sieze the vehicles from the street racers.

    Crush them at the dump.

    Send the culprit a DVD of his car in the crusher.

    Or better still deliver the crushed car back  to them as a momento for their stupidity.

    Any repeat offenders?  I doubt you will get one.

  4. Kent says:

    I am sadded by this as this is a losing situation for all sides.

    I will however take this opportunity to state that this is exactly why the people of Cayman, possibly through the Government need to get behing a proper closed course facility where we can facilitate the long standing love Caymanian (especially Cayman's young men) have with motor sports.  These facilities do not encourage lawlessness on the roadways, infact they do exactly the opposite.  They give a center of focus, they teach the concequences and responsibilities of motorsports.  I can say this because not only is it a documented fact, but I also lived it!

    We spend millions of dollars on facilities for education, we spend more millions of people to facilitate the transfer of knowledge in those facilities.  We spend millions on healthcare for the children that go to the schools.  And we will spend millions to save a few of their lives in buildings with professionals that cost additional millions.  Yet we will not spend a few million to create a facility that can benefit them through nurturing the passions that they exist within their very soul.  We lost a very special young man within the last couple weeks that I am secure in saying if such a facility was available, he would have untilized it and very possibly would have adjusted his riding habits in such a manner that his passing could have been avoided.

    I pray for the families that have lost their loved ones to street racing, and hope that one day the ignorance of those who can do the right thing will pass and they will realize that it is money well spent and a win win situation for all Caymanians.

    • anonymous says:

      Well I'm not so sure there Kent – Cayman already has a track and facilities for car racing.  Facility aside, not so sure how much good it would do.  From grade Year One onewards we educate children about the dangers of drugs.  We have teachers talking to them about it, we have the police talking to them about it, we have former drug users talking to them about it, we have presentations, we do this and we do that.  But by the time that they reach highschool, 40% of the kids are engaging in guess what?  You got it, drug-related activities…  Will spending millions on a facility help?  Well, it might help a bit.  But it's not the cure-all that you think it is going to be.  When you get idiots behind a wheel challenging other idiots to a race, no amount of education or tracks are going to solve the problem…

      • Kent says:

        first, there is a 1/8th mile track, it is often hard to access, and it only caters to individuals that are intrested in running in a straight line.  Beyond that there are are no outreach programs at this facility, as it is completely underfunded (no offence to the Mr. C) 

        You have 40% of the young people in Cayman trying durgs because you want them to be dictated to by the same establishment that is failing them.  You will not reach the majority of youth by sending them to vacation bible school or having the police make a day visit to the classroom with an excon or 2 to tell their story. " Do as I say and not as I do" has never and will never work.  In fact "do as I say" has has some pretty sorry results also. 

        These kids are bored our of their minds!  They have no constructive focus, and no real options of an avenue to put such focus on anything that actually intrests them.

        You sit at your desk and read about 1,2 or 3 accidents here and there that were caused by street racing.  You think you have your hand on the pulse of the youth.  because you read articles in CNS, by every copy of the paper, you are the youth minister at your church of choice, and you have an ipod with todays top 40 as one of your play lists. but I can guarentee you that you don't.Iif you think this is a isolated or every now and them issue, or that it is just the stupid, ignorant, unfortunate, black, hooligan… type that are doing this, you would be wrong!  It is a every night occurance that is played out on almost every street in Cayman by the darkest, to the lightest, expat to fish tea loving Caymanian, poor and using momma's car to rich and driving a souped up 7 series BMW.

        I am a "white, blonde hair, blue eyed, 7th generation Caymanian from a so called good family" and I was a street racer,  I street raced until the day that got into organized competitive racing.  When I realized how quick everything could end, and the damage that could be done to others when I spun out at high speed the first time, it sunk home. 

        you say it may help a bit, I say if it helps a bit, that bit may be your nephew, and he is worth what ever that bit costs!


        • Anonymous says:

          Well Kent, you prove my original argument…First of all, the kids you're talking about should have no reason to be bored.  There's more than enough for them to do – homework for one, helping around the house for two, and getting a job for three.  Then of course there's kicking a ball around, going for a swim, reading – hey there's a novel idea, go to the library and read.  Oh wait, nah, none of those things sound all that interesting – I'm bored.  Guess I'll get in my souped up Huyandai and race some other idiots.  So, getting back to my original point.

          Stupid people will do stupid things, regardless of race tracks, programs, etc.  That's what I mean when I said that you can't cure stupidity.  Nowhere did I say that stupidity is a black, white, purple, rich, poor, middle-income thing…  It is spread evenly among all classes, among all races, among the various income levels, IQ levels, etc…  Stupidity does not discriminate. 

          I am glad that you finally saw the light and stopped your stupid behaviour – you did it because you joined organized racing.  Bravo – it worked for you.  I quit drinking because I got married.  My neighbour quit because of his liver.  My neighbour's neighbour quit because he got a DUI.  My neighbour's neighbour's neighbour quit because his kid drank half a bottle of wine and almost died as a result.  My neighbour's neighbour's neighbour's neighbour quit because he could no longer afford it.  Some other neighbour quit because he just wanted to quit…  Get the point?

          If you still don't get my point, read my other response to you below…

          If according to your argument racing will stop because of a controlled location will somehow dampen that racing spirit in the IDIOTS of this Island, I guess that all the gangbanging that is currently occuring on Islands will also stop as a result of the boxing gym, the jiu jitsu, judo and karate programs that are available to all gangbangers – you know, controlled locations where all gangbangers get to let loose, to showcase their talents…  Ooops, guess what, the gangbangers are not taking advantage of these opportunities – instead they chose to keep capping each other on the streets.  Maybe we ought to suggest to government that they finance a million dollar facility where these gangbangers could "safely" cap each other in order that they stop doing so on the streets…  So let's go back to the original argument – stupid people will continue to do stupid things, regardless of million dollar facilities!!! 

          Can't cure stupidity Kent – sorry.

        • Anonymous says:

          Kent, one last note…  I understand that your heart is in the right place and that you want to see the youth of the Cayman Islands participate in an activity that they enjoy in a safe manner and place…  I just don't think that a track is necessarily the answer – I don't necessarily think that one would hurt, but I don't think it's a cure-all either.  I think that there are far too many kids out there who have been ignored far too long by their parents, have been raised by the wild, have no concept of personal resposibility and frankly don't care what happens to others as a result of their actions…  All the best and hope that your dream of a track does come true one day.  Regards.

    • Kent says:

      So the people that give thumbs down, what is the answer?  Bigger tickets?  If the chance of killing an innocent bystander, a passanger in your car, the other car you are racing or yourself isn't a deterant, then I highly doubt, $500, $5000 or $50,000 will be, nor will losing your license or going to jail.  You need to get into the soul of the person, you need to get them to truly want to protect themselves and others, to understand the consequences, and risks, you want them to be able to focus their passions in constructive places that are controlled enviroments.

      Ignorance is rampant in this island and the lack of support for constructive outlets for our citizens intrests is a major player in the social decay we are seeing today.

      Open your eyes and think outside of the tiny box you grew up in!

      • Anonymous says:

        You spoke of ignorance in to posting what do you expect from the readers here. Many vote thumbs down are as ignorant as those you are writing about. The only joy they get to to bash the personalities or make jokes about the serious dangers facing this society.

        Ignore them and remain true to your beliefs.

  5. anonymous says:

    Can't fix stupidity.

    • Kent says:

      That is stupid statement from in ignorant individual.

      • anonymous says:

        i really don't understand…please explain…because as far as I am concerned, any time you do any type of racing on any street, i find that pretty stupid.  and even if you are not racing, any time that you are speeding excessively on narrow streets, well, i find that pretty stupid too.  and when you're speeding/racing and not wearing your seatbelts, well, that seems kinda stupid too.  and when you've heard of others that have died as a result of racing/speeding excessively on similar streets, and you do the exact same thing, well, i don't know – that kinda strikes me as stupid as well.  so when you put this all together, it screams "can't fix stupidity".

        • Kent says:

          Racing is going to happen, they have no where else to go!  If there were a controlled location for these things to happen you would see much less of it, then yes I could say you are right, but as far as I am concerned, the elders that control the motion of the ocean here are turning a blind eye to the needs and wants of their younger citizens. And that is Stupidity!  I list the street racing as rebellion and ignorance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stupid? Did you ever exceed the speed limit? Were you ever young? Did you ever make a mistake. Jared is doing the responsible thing.  He and his family as well as the family of the deceased all have my sympathy.

  6. Nothing grand about Cayman says:

    At least the guy has the cajones to plead guilty and take responsibility for his actions.

    • Attorney says:

      Hardly – what possible defence did he have?  He pleaded guilty to get a lighter sentence.  Pure self-interest.

  7. Saw the debris... says:

    Very sad that so many lives will be effected by this.

    I was in a street racing accident when i was very young also. I was in the back seat, pleading for the driver to slow down. He survived, a close friend died and another was left paralyzed. Close to 40 years ago and the memories are still fresh. 

    No doubt the survivors (like we did) supported the driver and said he was not at fault. We grouped together and lied to our parents and the police. No idea what happened to the driver or if he knows the torment we still feel by our lack of responsibility, and the fact we lied for him.

    Like the accident on Shamrock road, the skid marks before the wall told the speed. The scrapes against the concrete showed the impact. That a car "following closely" (drafting, Nascar style) collided is telling. A shattered car coming to rest hundreds off feet beyond completes the real picture.

    Yet Street Racing continues to claim lives and shatter the lives of the survivors, friends, and family members. Every weekend i see and hear the evidence of cars traveling at astonishing speeds.

    Traffic fines should be doubled, tripled in the instance of excessive speed. Racing should be a roadsidesuspension and the vehicles impounded. 

    Insurance should not cover the losses incurred as the result of racing.