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Expert maintains incoming vehicle caused teenager’s death

Supreme Court (File photograph)

An expert in collisions yesterday maintained that a van at least partially in the wrong lane caused the death of a teenager.

Glenn Luben, a traffic collision investigator from Florida, said he had not been provided with toxicology results before he wrote his report, and agreed that wet roads, inexperience on the roads and intoxication could contribute to a rider falling off their vehicle.

However at the Supreme Court, he maintained that in the case of Je-Naya Simmons, it was an incoming vehicle that caused her death, and that the fatal collision occurred on her side of the road.

He reiterated that all of the debris from the crash was found in the eastbound lane and that there was no evidence that she had crossed into the westbound lane.

Mr Luben also said that while there was no evidence that the van had struck the auxiliary cycle, he had not been able to inspect the van until months after the incident and the vehicle had some work done on it.

He noted that a bezel for a fog light discovered on the ground at the scene that matched those found on the van, but the van’s front bumper appeared new when he looked at the vehicle.

“The bumper that was replaced could have shown evidence of an interaction with a scooter, but it wasn’t available,” he said.

“It could have also struck her helmet. The bezel didn’t pop out of it’s housing on it’s own.”

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.

While Marc Daniels, counsel for Mr Walker, suggested that Ms Simmons had fallen into the incoming lane, Mr Luben said the evidence at the scene did not reflect that.

He also said that an impact was not likely to have knocked her from the westbound lane into the eastbound lane as the evidence suggested she was on the ground when she was struck.

“It’s not possible when they are prone,” he said. “If they are standing, then absolutely.”

Asked if passing vehicles could have caused debris to be moved, he said traffic at the scene stopped soon after the collision.

Mr Luben also maintained that the injuries suffered by Ms Simmons were consistent with contact from another vehicle.

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.

She told the court that Ms Simmons had several shots at the house party and had fallen off the vehicle earlier in the evening, but did not appear to be impaired and had driven properly prior to the fatal collision.

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.

A silver van was identified on CCTV footage on North Shore Road near the time of the collision and was found to be registered to Mr Walker.

Mr Walker later told police that he was the usual driver of the vehicle, and that the van had been involved in a “fender bender thing”, but denied that it had been involved in an accident.

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.