Log In

Reset Password

‘Her body was right there and everybody was just looking down’, witness tells court

The Supreme Court (File photograph)

A witness told the Supreme Court that she saw a silver van turn off its headlights moments before she came across the body of teenager Jen-Naya Simmons.

Juanae Burchall said that while she was in shock trying to help the young woman, she saw the same van again as it passed by the scene of the fatal crash.

“Her body was right there and everybody was just looking down,” she said. “Nobody offered any assistance. None.”

Ms Burchall told the court yesterday that on July 14, 2018, she had attended a party on a boat and had set out for home in the early hours of July 15.

She said she was travelling along North Shore Road in Hamilton Parish and had passed the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo when she noticed a van in the westbound lane.

“A few seconds after the bus stop I saw the van come off the hill,” she said.

Ms Burchall said that as soon as she saw the van, the vehicle extinguished its headlights.

“As soon as they saw my bike, their lights went out,” she added.

She said she passed the van and continued to travel east, where she saw a helmet in the road and then the body of a young woman.

Ms Burchall said the woman was on her back in the eastbound lane with her head in a pool of blood, but her left arm had crossed the centre line.

She told the court that a short time later, while she was still at the scene of the collision she saw the same silver van a second time.

Ms Burchall said the van passed close to her, travelling east in the westbound lane, and stopped briefly before it left the area.

She told the court that as the van came past she saw there were four people inside.

Ms Burchall said that the driver and the person in the front passenger seat were both men in white shirts. She added that there were two others in the back of the van, but she could not describe them.

“It was dark in that area so I couldn’t focus on people’s faces at that time,” she said.

She said the vehicle’s windows were down as they came past the scene and the front passenger’s head was poking out of the vehicle’s window.

Sergeant Olasunkanmi Akinmola, a police traffic collision expert, said that he arrived on the scene, where he saw a damaged auxiliary cycle and a pool of blood.

He also recorded a scrape in the road that stretched from the centre yellow line, past the blood to near where the damaged bike was located.

Sergeant Akinmola said later that he attended the autopsy of Ms Simmons and noticed, among other injuries, a dark imprint on her right thigh.

He said, based on the imprint, he believed the body had come into contact with the tyre of another vehicle.

Terrance Walker, from Pembroke, has denied a charge that he caused the death of Jen-Naya Simmons by careless driving in the early hours of July 15, 2018.

Earlier this week, Jada Simmons-Trott told the court that she had been with Ms Simmons for most of the night leading up to the fatal crash.

She said that they had gone to a house party in Warwick, picked up food from Ice Queen and stopped near the BAMZ to eat before they left to return home.

However, Ms Simmons-Trott said that shortly after she spotted a white or grey van travelling on or over the centre line towards her on North Shore Road, she lost sight of her friend in her mirror.

She turned around and rode back, only to discover her friend unconscious in the road.

Ms Simmons-Trott said Ms Simmons had several shots at the house party and had come off the bike in a separate incident earlier in the day, but maintained that she had shown no signs of impairment or difficulty handling the bike.

The trial continues.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.