Mark Cameron, the taxi driver who collided with a couple along the Cummings Lodge Railway Embankment last Friday morning, was yesterday charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and placed on a total of $700,000 bail.
It is alleged that on Friday, September 1, Cameron drove HC 4097 in a manner dangerous to the public, resulting in the deaths of Dennis Ross and his girlfriend, Jewel Pestano. Cameron pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before Magistrate Alisha George at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court.
He was granted $350,000 bail on each charge and the matter was adjourned to October 9.
At around 3.30am last Friday, Ross and Pestano, 19, of Albouystown were riding on motorcycle, CE 9653 when they collided with the taxi being driven by Cameron along the Cummings Lodge Railway Embankment.
Pestano’s family had told this newspaper that based on what they were told, the couple were proceeding west along the embankment road on Ross’s motorcycle when the car, which was travelling east along the road, without any lights, collided head-on with them.
As a result of the impact, they were sent flying into the air. They were both rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where Ross was pronounced dead on arrival and Pestano succumbed hours after to her injuries.
Cameron was subsequently taken into custody and a breathalyser test found that his breath alcohol content was above the legal limit.
An aunt of Pestano, who did not want to be named, had explained that Pestano had left home last Thursday night with Ross to attend a party at the Plaisance Line Top.
Her cousin, who also did not want to be named, explained that he went after her and had met her and Ross at the party.
He said they spent the night drinking together until the party was “closed off by the police” sometime in the morning. The group then split up and that was the last time the cousin saw Pestano before he heard of the accident early Friday morning.