Doctor dies after being hit by taxi

| 18/07/2017 | 68 Comments

(CNS) Updated: The police have confirmed that Dr Vary Anetta Jones-Leslie (62), from Jamaica, died at the George Town hospital earlier this morning as a result of the injuries she sustained when she was hit by a taxi outside the airport yesterday. Police said that the 69-year-old man, from Bodden Town, who was driving the van has been released from hospital and the investigation continues.

Following the news yesterday about the accident, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said that his ministry would be looking at strengthening existing safety protocols at the airport to prevent future incidents.

“With details still unfolding the matter is currently under investigation by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS),” he said. “The relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Tourism, Cayman Islands Airports Authority and Public Transportation Unit are assisting the RCIPS wherever possible and we will also be looking at strengthening existing safety protocols at the airport and its environs, in an effort to prevent such incidents happening in the future.”

The physician who was visiting Cayman for a short period of work at the hospital was struck by the taxi as she crossed the road outside the airport close to Andy’s Rent-a-car at around 10:45am Monday.

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Category: Local News

Comments (68)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is not road issues, it is driver issues. Bring on Uber ..

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Before all else, my sympathy goes out to the family and friends of the deceased. There is nothing quite like loosing a loved one but may you find strength in all this.

    I know that everyone who comments here feel very strongly about making Cayman a safe place to live. And we are right, there is a lot left to be done. But for now, I hope this has put things in to perspective for motorists and pedestrians ; a vehicle is as much a weapon as a gun is when you put an irresponsible person behind it. Always be cautious, thoughtful and alert when using the roads.

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  3. anonymous says:

    Deepest condolences to the doctor’s family. A horrible incident. The truth is that our roads are largely, for whatever reason, not policed adequately. Who among us has never witnessed reckless driving on an almost daily basis, particularly on the part of taxi drivers? I see them speeding, tailgating, changing lanes in an erratic fashion etc (in other words driving recklessly) all the time. And where are the police – nowhere! Common on RCIPS, let’s get busy and start making our roads safer, please.

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  4. Dr. Seus says:

    Well a cross walk at an airport where tourists coming off of flights that are not familiar with our signs and drivers is asking for trouble. Why not place an overpass to the car rentals? We are renovating so spend the money to make the area safer and easier to access to the car companies? Condolences to the doctor’s family.

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    • Anon says:

      First, condolences to the family and friends of Dr Jones. What a loss this is to the two island communities.

      Second, while we cannot make any judgments here without the information that will undoubted eventually come out, there is no doubt there is far too much speeding on our roads.

      I hope this is a wake up call. It is just not worth it.

      I live in a development behind Hurley’s Supermarket and I have been asking for speed bumps for years. Seems we will wait for someone to die first.

      I know the NRA is busy with all the road construction going on (a safety hazard In Itself), but if the NRA does not have a safety surveillance unit, I suggest that the establish one to monitor and make suitable recommendations.

    • Anonymous says:

      8;09 pm, yes a cross walk and you stand by to drag their luggage up ,over and down that cross walk. stupid idea. Put big road bumps in that area.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We need install islands in middle road which it will slow down traffic and make safer for people to walk across road.

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  6. just asking says:

    I would like to add 3 cents here. Firstly someone says that the taxi drivers in Cayman is arrogant. I am a taxi driver and I find that you can get good customers and arrogant customers in any kind of business you go into in Cayman these days. My condolences to the family members. Please not that in all walks in life there are the good and bad as I have been around tourism for over forty years and some work for the money so work pleasure of the job.

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    • Turner White says:

      Wow my cousin is gone while she was in Toronto she indicates ensure that you come see me when you are visiting Jamaica sure nough I didn’t ,cause my time was limited this past Easter so sad may your soul rest in peace your brother was taken from us suddenly so as your dear mother we are so heart broken

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  7. Anonymous says:

    So sad to hear about my doctor’s demise. I am torn!!!!. Your work with us ladies was phenomenal.
    You will be deeply missed. John 5: 28, 29 gives us comfort. All is not lost for you doctor Jones.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    I won’t pass judgement on the taxi driver as yet as nobody yet knows what happened and where the fault blames. That being said, if it does turn out to be the taxi driver’s fault, it will be a shame that people have been complaining about their driving forever and nothing has been done. Will anything be done now?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    condolences to the family , may the victim Rest In Peace, every one is jumping on the taxi and bus drivers, I agree we have some bad drivers in the business but be fair of the hundreds of accidents monthly how many are public buses and taxis, speed bumps are so cheap in those areas like the airport there should be many and high as possible, best safety measure.

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  10. Veritas says:

    A tragedy for the poor lady and her family. I note the driver was 69, this reminds me that efforts were made some time ago to introduce an age limit and /or medical check and perhaps retesting for our senior citizen taxi drivers. This caused an uproar and the idea was dropped. Maybe we should learn from this tragedy and revisit these issues.

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  11. Inspector Clouseau says:

    Why is the comments open when an active investigation is in progress?

    CNS: No one has been arrested for anything.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Our crosswalk signage is confusing to tourists. One glaring example – People are always crossing busy west bay road by Peppers as they think it’s a crosswalk as a sign there says “crosswalk” but It’s NOT. The crosswalk is UP AHEAD with the flashing lights but the poor tourists don’t know that.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to the Dr.’s family 🙁 so horribly sad

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  14. Cousin Piccolo says:

    As if illegal firearms weren’t enough for a cause for concern. We still have to fear being run over by a vehicle.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    This is very sad and should be a major wake up call. I am surprised this sort of incident doesn’t happen on a regular basis in town where selfish drivers line up all along Harbour Drive and South Church Street by Atlantis, blocking the view of pedestrians, many of whom step out from between the vehicles unexpectedly. There should be immediate termination of licenses for taxis that violate the rules of the road. They are supposed to be professional drivers. If any of us in other professions worked with the level of disregard they did, we would be fired on the spot. It is time to hold these drivers who are literally playing with the lives of others, in as much as they are also ferrying around folks, to the highest level of professional and proper behavior with regards to the rules of the road. Fines for driving professionals should be double those of the regular public and the threat of losing a license all together should be out there as a deterrent. It is only a matter of time before there is an even more serious accident involving a load of passengers…

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Part of the problem in Cayman is the fact that the taxi drivers have to join a line to ensure that they are next in line. This needs to stop. Everywhere else in the world that I have travelled, including Jamaica, there is a taxi dispatcher. At the Norman Manley airport in Kingston, there is the JUTA office. If you need a taxi, you go to the JUTA dispatcher and the dispatcher calls the next taxi in line. The operator with then come and collect you and take you to the parking lot where the vehicle is parked. He then takes you to your destination, and then radios back to the airport or he checks in at the next JUTA destination if you are at a hotel. This is done for a number of reasons, the chief among them being for your own security. I can’t begin to tell you how many clients from all over the world who have come to Cayman and wish to go to Jamaica who have used the JUTA taxi service and come away singing its praises.

    for those who travel to New York, the same thing applies. If you have the money you get yourself into a town car or a registered yellow cab with a meter. In the UK, there are the black cabs. Cayman touts itself as a premier destination catering only to high end visitors. It is high time that it ensures that the first point of contact is not of a grabby grabby situation but an orderly procession from the airport to the hotel and back.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Looking at the damage to the taxi, a traffic accident expert should be able to estimate at what speed it must have been traveling at the point of impact – seems unlikely it was within the speed limit. Whatever, let us have a very fast examination of the circumstance to find out what happened. It is the least the lady’s family deserve. A dreadfully sad event.

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  18. Family friend says:

    Thank you for the condolences. She was a wonderful person and a great ObGyn. All her family and friends are in a state of shock and dismay right now. Please remember them in your prayers. I sincerely hope something is done to prevent another unfortunate loss of life!

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  19. Anonymous says:

    So sad! Rest in Peace!

    Taxi, Bus and Truck drivers are out of control here. Is been like that for years and police don’t give a F*** about it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The police gives a lot of F***s about it. The problem is when they stop your uncle brother, you jump up and say the police gives too much F****8s about the bad driving or the overloaded dump truck or the mini bus driver, You say they should be looking for criminals. There is one nationality here that think they own this little Rock. They feel if they can’t have it, they will destroy it.

      They drive like idiots. It’s in the blood. That attitude rubs off on the others and everyone gets aggressive. We do not need that type of culture here.

      That being said, the next time the police is doing a road check or tell some idiot to stop on the motorbike and the rider or driver gets killed, then shut the heck up about the police. They can only do so much to keep up with the foolishness.

      Do you know how almost impossible it is to hit a pedestrian in that area?
      You have got to be blind or distracted completely and driving real fast.

      So you stop that stupidity about the police don’t give a hoot. They do, but they get abused by the johnny come latelys and all the driftwoods, as well as Uncle Jerry’s cousin brother, They think they should be able to do what they want. Then they put that crap in their little monster children head. And the mentality goes around.

      don’t get me started yu hear.

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    • Anonymous says:

      and I hate to say it, but it seems that are the Jamaicans who bring and spread this kind of driving in the Island. They are by the far the worst drivers here, and it seems to rub on other people too.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Why do we not have the same style of crosswalk at the airport with lights and signs that we have on WB road?

    Once again Cayman is the land of laws with no enforcement, the national debt could be paid off with traffic citations if the RCIP would re-instate the Traffic Unit.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    First of all, condolences to the Doctors family and friends over such a needless death after just arriving.
    Secondly: Government ministers should hang their heads in shame as to be held to ransom by the taxi drivers association. In all my years on this island have rarely seen a taxi driver stick to the rules of the road, Government licensing of taxis should include a mandatory speed limiter fitted and checked at 30 mph maximum – this Island is not big enough to get anywhere in that much of a hurry.
    Thirdly: Government run with Hotel sponsorship, a dedicated shuttle bus service doing a loop around the 5 or so main hotels in the SMB area and the airport. Have a greatly reduced fare for each person and you have a safe comfortable ride at the beginning and end of your stay without fear of being ripped off.
    Fourthly: anyone in Government reading this, please act soon.

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    • Anonymous says:

      11:28 Why not let someone run a Super Shuttle franchise out of the revamped ORIA terminal? I’ve used them all over the USA, they offer fixed rates and great service.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    We are at the airport frequently…at least 3 times a week…we have spiken with the police at the airport on numerous occasions with regard to the way the taxi and bus drivers in particular are parked and drive in that area; flying in, parking on corners, parking at angles, flyig out without indicating. … other drivers do this also, but taxi and bus drivers do this for a LIVING. and the responses we got were “ok”.This is all a part of the “me first/me only” culture we live in.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    May her soul rest in peace.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    SO very sad to see this. I am so sorry for this woman and her family. Such a black mark on Cayman.

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  25. Caymanian Taxi says:

    So saddened to read this story this morning, my prayers go out to her family.

    I see the Minister of Tourism is looking into the airport protocols. Sir, it’s not the airport you should look into, you need to look into the taxi drivers and the protocols of the dept of transportation, in fact Mr Banks should be looked into and his dept, we have so main terrible taxi drivers on this island, far worse than most other countries I have visited.

    Insread of me just complaining about them here are a couple of solutions.

    1) You must take a 3 month driving course ( this can be conducted by the RCIPS vehicle training officer)
    2) taxi licence fee should be $5000 (pretty cheap compared to other places in the world), annual fee of $500
    3) you vehicle should be inspected every 3 months
    4) If you have a taxi business you must register all your drivers and or receive approval from the board to lease you van.
    5) If a complaint is made, immediate suspension till the investigation is completed.
    6) reduce the amount of licences.
    7) meters put in all taxis and GPS’s
    8) annual medical ever year including eyes test.

    Just a few ideas!
    Unfortunately!! None of this will be looked at as the Taxi association has to much power and they can do what they want whenever they want.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    The taxi drivers think they rule the roads and have no regard for safety. Just this morning as I was driving toward town in front of the Marriott a taxi passed me in the middle lane ! WTF ! Same area were a taxi hit a tourist before.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Taxis & buses overtake frequently on then old West Bay road. The fact that the middle lane is a turning lane is ignored by them (& others) as is the 25 mph speed limit.

      Could new signs be mounted on the dual carriage ways stating ‘drive in the left lane & overtake in the right’.

      Will new lane lines be painted on the road opposite the national gallery when both sides of the dual carriage way is opened? Currently driving between the under construction round about & Camana Bay the bicycle lane is on my left. When it is opened for only traffic going in the opposite direction the bicycle lane will be to the right of the overtaking/fastest lane…..

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  27. Anonymous says:

    While we are all pointing fingers, let us pause for a moment and offer heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the bereaved. I can’t imagine what this family is going through right now. This is absolutely heartbreaking. May her soul rest in peace and may the Lord provide comfort to her loved ones at this terrible time.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    It’s not the airport safety protocols that need looking at, it’s the competence and skill levels of taxi and bus drivers all over Cayman that needs urgently addressing.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Speed bumps, speed bumps, speed bumps. They work. There are too many distracted/rushed drivers and pedestrians around the airport.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Taxi drivers are aggressive I other parts of the world…in Cayman they are aggressive, arrogant and generally bad drivers

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  31. Anonymous says:

    taxi drivers are out of control in cayman! i almost got knocked down on pedestrian crossing right in front on new govt building…by…you guessed it…a local taxi driver?

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Erecting simple pedestrian crosswalks that go over the main road would be ideal for heavy traffic areas like SMB and airport…I cant understand how that is so difficult for the gov’t to see

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    • Anonymous says:

      Spending tens of thousands plus along with making people haul bags up stairs to avoid crossing a simple road in broad daylight is not the answer. Strict enforcement against bad driving is the only thing that will work, with traffic calming measures where appropriate.

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    • Anonymous says:

      She was on the crosswalk

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  33. Anonymous says:

    Lower the speed limit to 10 mph. That would increase safety and not delay anyone.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    My experience has been that there is no respect on your roads and certainly no enforcement in road traffic safety. I’ve never seen police present or any enforcing such small things as tailgating, speeding or respecting even emergency vehicles by pulling over and letting them through. Traffic doesn’t move at signal lights because you have people in the intersection not using the keep the intersection clear – they just sit, keep their heads down while checking out their cell phones and pretend they aren’t blocking traffic. Your taxis always up cars butts pushing them. You need to hit them where it hurts. Their pockets $$. Start enforcing respect on the roads with tickets consistently. I’m expecting a negative backlash from this of course. No one likes to hear critisms.

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    • Andrea A. Calderon says:

      Now they going ‘lock the gate after the horse gets out’ again! We the people speaks and govt don’t listen! Moses Kirkconnell you all need join FB so unna can learn from your people u represent! Each Minister needs a web page or FB to communicate – both parties – with your people! U need to get the public’s opinions! do polls before u put things in black and white laws – and what u need to put in action also! Boy we going from bad to worse! 6 steps ahead and twenty back!

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