Police, government still reviewing deadly road accident at airport

A month after a deadly auto-pedestrian crash killed a visiting doctor at Grand Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport, both local police and government officials are still reviewing the incident.

No charges had been filed as of Tuesday against the 69-year-old taxi driver who police said struck Dr. Vary Jones-Leslie on July 17 along Owen Roberts Drive as she crossed the road. The Jamaican doctor, 62, died from injuries suffered in the crash on July 18.

A police spokesperson said the crash investigation is ongoing and expert reports on the incident are still being compiled.

Dr. Jones-Leslie, an obstetrician-gynecologist, had arrived in Cayman that morning for a temporary shift at the Cayman Islands Hospital, where she was a substitute to assist local physicians. It was an arrangement Dr. Jones-Leslie had participated in a number of times for the Health Services Authority.

It appeared that Dr. Jones-Leslie was attempting to walk across the three-lane Owen Roberts Drive just north of the airport terminal around 10:45 a.m. Monday when she was struck, police said. The taxi van that hit her showed significant damage on the right side of its hood. Some bags she had apparently been carrying on a trolley were strewn across the road, and first responders found her lying in the middle of the street.

The deadly accident raised some safety concerns among local officials about the entrance road into the airport terminal.

There are three crosswalks along Owen Roberts Drive, which is bookended to the north and south by airport parking lots and by Andy’s Rent-A-Car property. However, there are no crossing lights at those intersections, and the road heading into the airport terminal does not have any speed bumps, although the road adjacent to the terminal does.

“[The ministry] will … be looking at strengthening existing safety protocols at the airport and its environs in an effort to prevent such incidents happening in the future,” Transport Minister Moses Kirkconnell said following the accident.

So, far the government has not publicly issued any recommendations for safety improvements along the airport road.