No bail for driver charged with Homestretch fatalities

Jormin Jackson, the minibus driver accused of causing the deaths of five persons in July’s Homestretch Avenue accident, was yesterday further remanded to prison by Magistrate Sueanna Lovell at the Georgetown Magistrates’ court.

Jackson, 29, appeared in court for report and fixtures for the hearing into the five charges of causing death by dangerous driving brought against him.

It is alleged that on July 18, he drove minibus BMM 9888 in a manner dangerous to the public, thereby causing the death of Erica La Cruz, Crazel Paul, Junior Duncan, Peter McLennon and Coretta Benjamin.

Jackson’s attorney, James Bond, had made applications for him to be granted bail, while noting that the charges allowed for bail. However, his applications were declined by then presiding Magistrate Hazel Octave-Hamilton, who noted “the nature, gravity and seriousness of this epidemic in this society.” The Magistrate also emphasised that “the courts have to send a strong message.”

Benjamin, 39 of ‘B’ Field, Sophia; her daughter, Crazel Paul, 8; Peter McLennon, 29, of ‘B’ Field South Turkeyen; and Junior Duncan, 48, also of Sophia, died after the Route 48 minibus in which they were travelling turned turtle.

La Cruz, 18, succumbed the following morning after undergoing surgery in the Intensive Care Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) for severe head injuries.

Ten other passengers were injured in the accident, which police said occurred when one of the minibus’s rear tyres blew out, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Police also said that the minibus toppled several times along the roadway before coming to a halt several yards away at the side of the road. The bus had been carrying passengers to the Stabroek Market bus park.

The Section ‘A’ Sophia resident would return to court on September 28.

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