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Police name Jahmel Blakeney as seventh road fatality of 2022

A man was killed after two motorcycles heading east along Middle Road were in collision with a taxi heading in the opposite direction at the junction with Lines Estate Road just after 11pm last night (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Police have named Jahmel Blakeney, 40, as a motorcyclist killed after a three-vehicle collision on Middle Road in Devonshire late on Wednesday night.

The death of the son of former MP and Progressive Labour Party Cabinet minister Glenn Blakeney was the island’s seventh road fatality of the year.

It marked the family’s second tragedy in recent years after the death following an illness of the victim’s older brother, cricketer Glenn Blakeney Jr, at the age of 45 in 2018.

A second motorcycle rider, understood to be a 27-year-old Pembroke man, apparently sustained a non-life threatening arm injury in the crash.

A police spokesman said the man was receiving hospital treatment at last check.

Police said two motorcycles heading east along Middle Road collided with a taxi heading in the opposite direction at the junction with Lines Estate Road just after 11pm.

One of the motorcyclists received head injuries in the collision, which proved fatal.

The bike riders were thrown from their motorcycles in the smash, which left all three vehicles extensively damaged.

A police spokesman said: “One of the injured motorcyclists is said to have left the scene on foot.

“The other, a 40-year-old, sustained what were described as serious head injuries and was found unresponsive when officers arrived at the scene.”

Mr Blakeney was taken to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital by paramedics, but died from his injuries shortly after.

Police said today that the taxi driver, described as a 75-year-old Devonshire man, was not injured in the crash.

The spokesman added: “He was transporting a visiting American couple at the time.

“The visiting American woman apparently received a cut to her arm, while the visiting American man was apparently unhurt.”

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident to come forward.

The police spokesman added: “There were reportedly a number of other bikes present when the collision occurred, but they left before the arrival of the police.”

The crash site remained closed for an extended period while the scene was processed by BPS traffic collision investigators, along with officers from the forensics unit.

Anyone who may have been present when the collision occurred, or who may have any information about this incident, is asked to call 211 or the main police number on 295-0011.

The spokesman added that a family liaison officer has been appointed to assist the relatives of the victim.

Susan Jackson, the shadow transport minister, responded in a statement: “Collectively, our hearts ache for former MP Glenn Blakeney, his wife Gwen and their family with the loss of their son Jahmel, who sadly lost his life last night in a road accident.

“We pray they receive all the support they need as they navigate this very difficult time.”

Ms Jackson added: “A heartfelt appeal goes to all road users to be extra careful as we approach the height of summer activities.

“Please use care and caution on our roads and ensure that you arrive safely.”

Mr Blakeney had served a lengthy prison sentence for the attempted gun murder in 2009 of Shaki Minors and his pregnant girlfriend, Renée Kuchler, at Southside in St David’s.

He was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment in 2011, with the Supreme Court ordering at least 15 years behind bars.

In a candid 2010 interview with The Royal Gazette, his father — a former families minister with the PLP — spoke of Mr Blakeney’s troubled adulthood, saying he did his “best to provide a wholesome family environment” for his son.

Last year there were 16 fatalities on Bermuda’s roads, a statistic that Renée Ming, then the Minister of National Security, described as “an extreme concern”.

The Bermuda Police Service launched Operation Vega in an attempt to crack down on driving offences such as speeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell, the former head of the Bermuda Police Service’s Roads Policing Unit, said the operation had been launched because of a serious rise in motor vehicle accidents in 2021 compared with the previous year.

Road fatalities in 2022

March 11: An infant dies after the car in which he was a passenger ploughed through safety barriers and into the ocean at Shark Hole in Hamilton Parish.

March 25: Hannah Jimenez-Flood, 42, dies in a single-vehicle crash on Beacon Hill in Sandys.

March 26: Wayne Augustus, 51, is killed in a crash near Church Bay in Southampton in the early hours.

April 14: Jason Lee, 29, dies in a two-vehicle crash on North Shore Road in Hamilton Parish

April 24: Freddy Hall, 37, dies in a car crash in St George’s. Mr Hall was able to continue driving after the incident, but paramedics were called to the scene shortly after he arrived home. He succumbed to his injuries.

May 22: Robert Hudson, 52, is killed in a single-vehicle crash on Cut Road in St. George after hitting a wall and a parked car.

July 20: Jahmel Blakeney, 40, is killed after a crash involving three vehicles on Middle Road in Devonshire.