Driver pleads guilty to Esterley Tibbetts road death

| 16/04/2012

IMG-20111130-00037.jpg(CNS): A 32-year-old man has admitted killing Richard Martin in a road smash on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway last year. Patrick Dixon pleaded guilty on Friday morning to causing death by dangerous driving in the early hours of 30 November after the Chevrolet Blazer he was driving smashed into a Honda Logo being driven by 52-year-old Martin, a resident in Cayman originally from Pennsylvania, USA. At the time of the crash, which happened close to Lakeside Villas, Dixon was also arrested for driving under the influence, a charge which Dixon denied and the crown withdrew. After his plea he was released on bail and ordered to return to court for sentencing on 25 May.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am Richard Martin's sister and I am still so angry that Patrick Dixon killed my brother. I cannot believe that as a society we would think it is less of a problem that someone was killed because of reckless driving, whether or not they were drinking, than if they shoot someone. It makes me so angry that a few moments of bravado took my brother's life as suddenly and violently as it did. It makes me angry that his 7 year old daughter has no father, that my mother has no son and that my sister-in-law has no husband. I have no forgiveness for Patrick Dixon.

    This man's personal choice to behave irresponsibly behind the wheel has had an impact on dozens of lives.  While he has pleaded guilty, I hope that he is man enough to recognize the impact this also has on his own children. That he has the responisibilty to not only pay the consequences of this action, but to teach them that this irresponsible behavior is not one to be modeled. It is my wish that no one ever experiences what my family is going through.

    Pam Martin

  2. Anonymous says:

    There's no comfort in such tragedies but there was at least one factor which contributed to this accident, outside the control of either driver.  Due to the brainlessness which permitted accesses onto what was supposed to be a bypass road, the deceased driver had no choice but to try to do a difficult and dangerous manoeuver to enter into the apartment complex from the North, suggesting that he was in the oncoming lane. Perhaps that's why the DUI charge was dropped against the other driver because alcohol might not have directly contributed to the accident. Slowed his response reflexes perhaps? Who knows? I'm not excusing driving under the influence of alcohol but clearly, other factors existed.

    Over 10 years ago when I first started seeing "For Sale" signs along that portion of the Esterley Tibbetts Hwy/Harquail Bypass I wrote a letter to the powers that be in the PWD and Planning Departments and also to the Compass, which questioned the logic of encouraging the development of road-facing property with the expectation that access would be required from that side. I predicted that without restriction, this stretch will eventually become another main strip similar to Eastern Avenue. I'm not claiming to be any kind of visionary but common sense told me that the type of scenario existing with Lakeside Villas' access would occur.

    Now the National Gallery access is another example. Surely, access could have been gained through the road into the Harquail Theatre, by extension. The Gallery could have still been designed to face east, as it does, but the access would have been to the rear and infinitely safer.  But I'm not surprised, for some reason there is never any forward thinking or any even mild 'thinking outside the box' in this country. 

    It is sad when such narrow-mindedness contributes to situations which result in personal tragedies. My condolences to the Martin family and friends.

  3. SKEPTICAL says:

    To prevent stupid overtaking / lane changing on roads like the Harquail / Esterly Tibbetts / Lynford Pearson why can’t we use the steel domes they use in Miami on places like Le Jeune, to separate the slip road to the airport and the through lane. Only an idiot would risk destroying his suspension, especially on the “Mickey Mouse ” lowered Hondas etc., crossing over those – BUT, sorry, had forgotten this is Cayman…..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why do people feel the need to comment on things they know nothing about, stop assuming things because when you do, you usually get it wrong. If you dont know the full story then just dont say anything at all. It was a terrible accident and one that both families will never get over.

  5. Anonymous says:

    THIS ROAD NEEDS A MEDIAN !! Too many people in a rush to go nowhere….how many peole have to die on this road ….

  6. Anonymous says:

    They can just put those concrete blocks to divide the lanes and nobody will be able to do a u-turn. that will save many issues and lives.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Looks like plea bargaining to me. Get driver to plead guilty on dangerous driving charge and drop the DWI charge. Of course the dangerous driving will attract a lesser sentence .

  8. Anonymous says:

    why was the charge of drunken driving withdrawn?????


    • Anonymous says:

      I was kind of thinking the same think.. It could have been that he wasn't drunk. OR, he has agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of wreckless driving to have the DUI withdrawn.. I'm guess he agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge..

    • Legal Seagull says:

      Probably part of a deal to get a guilty plea.  This happens many times and justice cannot be said to be done this way.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I'm still not 100% sur ewhat happened here.  I saw a post earlier and heard on the road that someone was on the wrong side of the road?

    Did Mr Dixon come out of Lakeview Villas and drive towards Camana Bay on the "right" side of the road and Mr Martin was coming from Camana Bay to town on teh correct left side?

    • Anonymous says:

      Without seeing a police report but noticing the damage to the signs, landscaping and skid marks… I would think that the southbound car was traveling at an excessive speed, failed to stay on to the left side of the road at the corner, passed through the northbound lane and left the road, crashed through some flower beds, and a sign by the entrance of Lakeside before coming back onto the roadway in the northbound lane into the path of the oncoming car.

  10. Loopy Lou says:

    There are too many fatal accident cases where the crown is dropping charges because a defendant is willing to plead guitly to some of the charges. 

  11. Driver says:

    This incident is utterly tragic and the bereaved family have my full sympathy and prayers. Going forward, with the goal of avoiding further fatalities on this same road, something must be done about local access roads off of that highway. How realistic is it to expect drivers traveling from camana bay to national gallery to continue all the way along to the Butterfield roundabout, turn around and drive all the way back in order to make a left into the gallery? It's a ridiculously poorly "planned" system which must be changed. I drive that road several times daily and see people turning right when no right turn is permitted at least once a day. It is very dangerous.

    • Anonymous says:

      the junction had noting to do with the accident……talk about avoiding the real issues!

      • Driver says:

        I actually wasn't suggesting that it did. I was merely pointing out one of the problems with the road on which this (and many other accidents and incidents) happened and I most certainly didn't intend to cause any offense to anyone connected with this particular incident. 

        • Anonymous says:

          it's like saying get rid of roundabouts becuase they cause accidents…… people cause accidents!

  12. Bueller says:

    Very sad story, but at least Dixon was man enough to plead guilty and save putting the family through a trial.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Another example of why there should be no direct access to the Esterly Tibbetts Highway.

    All access to the Esterly Tibbetts should only be at the roundabouts as was the original design concecept for this arterial roadway. 

    Lobbyists to politicians issued the orders to the CPA and the NRA to allow direct access to the Esterly Tibbetts hightway. 

    Now Lakeview Villas, Dart, the National Art Gallery, Sunshine Suites, Regatta Office Park  and others are allowed to directly access Esterly Tibbetts highway.  This is all very wrong and has caused deaths on the road – there will be more to come.

    • And ... says:

      Where there should be a roundabout there is none. Who approved this highway plan? Why isn't there a roundabout to access the Strand shopping plaza if heading to Georgetown? I would think this is the most obvious place to put a round about.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nah, a wise person decided to put the entrance/exit on a bend instead!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      This has nothing to do with access. The guy was driving on the wrong side of the road in order turm into the place. And may have had a drink or two.

      Dont blame the road. Even a beginner driver could contend with this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why are you stating something that happened that is not the truth. This is the problem with this Island, everyone thinks they know everything when they dont, so unless you were there or have seen the police report, dont post what you think happened as being fact.

    • Anonnymous says:

      What has caused deaths on The Esterley Tibbetts Highway is speed, and druken, dangerous driving.  This so sad – a life snuffed out, leaving a family and another young life ruined.  And this is all avoidable.

    • Anonymous says:

      what has this got to do with with what happened in this story???