Log In

Reset Password

Victim was in wrong lane when crash occurred, court is told

Supreme Court (File photograph)

An officer who investigated the crash that took the life of Je-Naya Simmons said he believed the evidence put the teenager in the wrong lane when the collision occurred.

Sergeant Olasunkanmi Akinmola, a police traffic collision expert, said he “strongly disagreed” with a suggestion that Ms Simmons was in the eastbound lane when the collision took place.

He also estimated that the teenager had been travelling at between 53 and 59kph when the fatal incident happened.

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

The court previously that Ms Simmons was on her way home from a house party in Warwick when the fatal collision occurred on North Shore Road in Hamilton Parish.

Jada Simmons-Trott, a friend of Ms Simmons, said she had seen a grey or white coloured van moving west in the area partially in the eastbound lane moments before she lost track of her friend.

And another witness said she had seen a silver van travelling west turn off its lights moments before she came across the scene of the collision.

Mr Akinmola told the court that when he arrived at the scene later that morning, he recorded a 27m scratch in the road that led from the centre yellow line to near where the damaged auxiliary cycle was found.

He also said that Ms Simmons had what appeared to be an imprint on her thigh with writing that indicated she had come into contact with a tyre.

Under cross-examination by Marc Daniels, counsel for Mr Walker, Mr Akinmola said the physical evidence in the case suggested to him that the collision had occurred in the westbound lane, close to the centre line.

He also accepted that it was possible Ms Simmons had “panic braked”, which could cause the wheels of her vehicle to lock up.

Mr Akinmola also agreed that, given the wet road conditions on the night of the collision, it could have caused the bike to slide out from under her.

The court also heard evidence from Inspector Dorian Astwood, who was a supervisor of the Road Policing Unit in 2018.

Mr Astwood told the court that in August 2018 he was contacted by the family of Ms Simmons who said they believed a second vehicle had been involved in the collision.

He said that after speaking with Sergeant Akinmola and witnesses, he reviewed CCTV footage from North Shore Road near Shelly Bay and identified a silver Suzuki APV in the area at the time of the incident.

Officers used the footage to identify the vehicle’s licence plate number and found that the it was registered to Mr Walker.

Mr Astwood said he and other officers went to the defendant’s home and spoke with him about the vehicle.

He told the court Mr Walker confirmed the van was his and that he drove it “most of the time”.

Mr Walker said that while the vehicle had been involved in “a fender bender thing” he denied that it had been involved in an accident.

Asked if he was driving the vehicle on the early morning of July 15, Mr Walker told the officers: “Not to my knowledge.”

Mr Astwood said the officers seized the car for inspection.

He said that he later was told that Mr Walker worked as a DJ and received a flyer for an event scheduled to be held at the Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club on the night of the crash with Mr Walker listed as a performer.

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.