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Fatal accident case set for court

A civil case over injuries caused in a fatal accident is expected to go before the courts this week — although it remains uncertain if the driver involved in the crash will appear.

Evelyn Kim Rewan launched a legal action against Englishman Luke Armstrong and Air Care Ltd for losses sustained as a result of a 2009 collision which resulted in the death of Winston “Yogi” Burrows.

Ms Rewan suffered a broken neck and multiple fractures during the crash.

Mr Armstrong was found guilty by a jury of causing the crash and sentenced to 15 months in prison, but that sentence was quashed by the Court of Appeal after it was determined the trial judge had not properly directed the jury on how to weigh up the evidence.

Subsequent to his release, Mr Armstrong left the island. While his LinkedIn profile suggested that he was working in Singapore when news of the civil case emerged last month, Mr Armstrong's Facebook profile listed his location as “Timbuctoo”.

After the last report by The Royal Gazette on the search for Mr Armstrong, the location on his Facebook was changed to Bermuda.

As part of efforts to notify Mr Armstrong about the legal action, notices were published in the Cayman Islands, warning him that if he wished to defend or counterclaim, he must enter an appearance in person or by an attorney or the matter may continue — and relief granted — in his absence.

Efforts by this newspaper to contact Mr Armstrong have not yielded any responses, and efforts by sources in the Cayman Islands to locate him were fruitless.

During the trial, the jury heard Ms Rewan was one of two passengers in a car driven by Winston “Yogi” Burrows in April, 2009, when the vehicle was involved in a collision with a heavy truck, driven by Mr Armstrong, on South Road, Warwick.

While Ms Rewan was pulled from the vehicle by the second passenger, Honest Masawi, Mr Burrows was killed when the damaged car burst into flames.

In the wake of the crash, Mr Armstrong left the scene. He was later charged with causing the death of Mr Burrows by driving while impaired by alcohol.

During a subsequent trial, the court heard that Mr Armstrong had several beers before the crash, although no evidence of a breath test was presented to the jury.

The jury was also shown gouge marks and scrape marks in the road, indicating that Mr Armstrong's truck was a few inches on the wrong side of the road when the collision occurred.

Mr Armstrong also admitted that he was not licensed to drive a heavy truck at the time of the collision.

However, evidence also indicated that Mr Burrows was double the legal blood-alcohol limit and had cocaine in his system at the time of the crash. The court also heard that Mr Burrows had a paralysed hand from a separate collision more than a decade earlier.

• On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on what we consider to be a controversial or contentious story. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

Evelyn Kim Rewan

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Published October 11, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 11, 2016 at 11:22 am)

Fatal accident case set for court

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