Road death: daughter seeks closure
A grieving woman said yesterday that she still had not been given answers about her father’s death in a road crash more than a year ago.
Ciara Martin’s father, Marco Bowen, died after his motorcycle was in collision with a water truck in rush hour traffic on October 8 last year.
The truck driver, Khyle Beckett, 32, admitted last month in Magistrates’ Court to driving while impaired, and was disqualified from driving for 18 months.
But the court heard no reference to Mr Bowen’s death in the crash on Barker’s Hill roundabout in Devonshire and his daughter was not there for the court case.
Ms Martin said news from the police that her father also had alcohol in his system had complicated an already confused picture of the crash.
The 28-year-old added: “I can’t defend my father if it’s his fault, but I don’t even know. It’s like everybody’s being hush-hush and nobody wants to reveal the truth.”
Ms Martin said: “All I want is a complete understanding of what went on.”
Mr Bowen knocked off work and was riding on North Shore Road to visit his daughter’s home in St David’s when the crash happened about 5.30pm.
The labourer and mason, who worked for Byland Construction, had just bought a new bicycle for Ms Martin’s son Duvontae, now 7.
Ms Martin, then seven months pregnant with her daughter Sapphira-Rose, had returned home days earlier from medical treatment at a hospital in Canada.
She said: “My son and my father were very close. He was a great father and provider.
“Every week he was up my house asking ‘what do you need for your son?’ — he gave my son the world.
“Every weekend, he’d come just to spend time with him. He had flaws in his life, but everybody does.”
Mr Bowen, a foster child who did not know his own father, was homeless at the time and slept on a friend’s porch.
Footage from CCTV, which Ms Martin and her mother viewed at police headquarters in Prospect two months ago, showed her father driving straight on to the roundabout as the water tanker turned and the two collided.
Ms Martin said: “To my knowledge, he spoke before he passed away. I got a phone call from somebody about an accident, but I thought he was OK. Then my mother got called to the hospital, she told me to go immediately. I got there and there was a doctor with a pastor.
“They took us into a conference room. I asked twice if he was dead until they told me. I broke down.”
She added that, although police had shown her the CCTV footage and told her both drivers had tested positive for alcohol, she was still in the dark over the exact circumstances.
Ms Martin said: “Maybe it was no one’s fault, or one person had more alcohol. I do not know.”
She added she was not notified by police about Beckett’s court appearance on September 18 and only learnt of the outcome from a report in The Royal Gazette.
Ms Martin, who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, said: “I just want closure, some kind of relief. I don’t want drama.”
She added that her daughter, now ten months old, smiles at her father’s picture even though she never knew him. She added: “I’m not over my father’s death, but I have come to terms with it. When I know what happened, that can be part of my healing, and for my son.”
The Department of Public Prosecutions did not respond to a request for comment on the case last month.
But Larry Mussenden, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said last night: “I am looking into the matter and will reply as necessary to the parties in due course.”
Bermuda Police Service said last night: “The file regarding the investigation into the fatal road collision that claimed the life of 49-year-old Mr Marco Bowen on October 8, 2018, is in the final stages of completion.
“Once the file is completed, it is likely to be reviewed by the Coroner’s office to determine if a Coroner’s inquest is required.”
• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.
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