In the wake of the devastating car crash that killed 16-year-old Jimico Brown, police are investigating to find out if the car owner could be charged with allowing the minor to drive the car.
A day after the R M Bailey Senior High School student was killed in the crash that split the car he was driving in two and broke a utility pole Sergeant Garlon Rolle of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Traffic Division said officers just might be on the cusp of making an arrest.
He said they would first have to determine if the teen was driving the car with or without permission.
“We have to verify that this is the case,” he explained. “We will investigate to find out that this person did in fact move the vehicle without the owner’s consent. But, if that is the case then the owner will not be prosecuted, but if we find out otherwise then we will charge the owner with permitting the boy to drive the car.”
“As it stands right now, at this point no one has been charged. The matter is still under active investigation, but we don’t know what will happen at the end of the day.”
The accident happened at 6:00 a.m. Sunday on the Milo Butler Highway.
According to police, Brown, who was driving alone in the 2004 Honda Accord, was travelling north on that road when he lost control of the car.
The teen collided with the utility pole on the western side of the thoroughfare and as a result of the impact the vehicle was split in two.
The rear of the vehicle was left along the shoulder of the road and the front ended up a distance through the bush.
Brown was still strapped under the seat belt when rescue crews arrived on the scene.
With thousands of school kids on summer holiday and some back home from college, Sgt. Rolle said police are once again confronted with a longstanding vexing issue where teenagers unlawfully take to the streets.
He issued a stern warning to parents.
“This has always been a cause of concern for traffic police and police in general, with people driving while not covered, with at least third party insurance,” he said.
“We find this to be a common practice, especially with teenagers who may be students at the College of The Bahamas and some who are away to school. When they return home for the summer holiday we want to ask parents who are going to allow their kids to drive their vehicles to make sure that they are covered and have a licence. If there is an accident there can be serious consequences and persons can be injured or killed. And if there is a civil suit the parents may be made to pay a lot of money out of pocket.”
Sgt. Rolle added that every year during the Christmas and summer holiday breaks minors are pulled over for driving without a licence and insurance.
The traffic cop said if police discover that an adult allows a minor to drive a car unlawfully, both parties will be charged and fined, at minimum, $400 each.