GB records first traffic fatality for 2021

SUPT. JEREMY HENFIELD, Officer-in-Charge of GB Traffic Division

Officials of the Traffic Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the traffic death of a Grand Bahamian mother and wife. The accident happened shortly before 6:00 p.m. on Monday (June 7). 

The victim is believed to be Shavonna Roberts, a resident of East Grand  Bahama, and an employee of the Road Traffic Department, GB.

Reports revealed that Roberts was the driver of a white Daishatsu Mira, with two passengers, who were later identified as her children, when the accident occurred. 

While her passengers were taken to hospital  for medical treatment following the collision, the victim, died at the scene. 

Supt. Jeremy Henfield, Officer-in-Charge of the Traffic Division of the RBPF on Grand Bahama provided information following the tragedy. 

“Sometime around 5:40 p.m. on today’s date (June 7), the police received a phone call about a crash that occurred on Windermere and Manchester Drives, in the Barberry Beach area, involving two vehicles.  

“When the police arrived on scene, initial investigations led us to two vehicles. Both were positioned to have been traveling in the opposite direction and we had what appeared to be a head-on collision. As a result of that, we had the one female occupant, the driver of one of those vehicles who was injured and succumbed to her injuries at the scene. 

“Right now, we are in the initial stages of this investigation, but we can most certainly tell you that speed would have played a factor in this accident,” Supt. Henfield said.

 “This accident would be the first traffic fatality for the year for Grand Bahama, but again, we say that any life lost is one too many. We plead to the motoring public to please slow down. There is no need to speed. We ask that you pay attention to what is going on around you. If you are not sure of the speed limit around you, then by law, it is says that if there are no signs posted, you should be doing 30 mph. 

“We just came off the year 2020, where we had some 15 fatalities. We were trying our best to see how we would keep our fatality count down. As you know, from January to now we have been doing speed checks, after speed checks and so, that is one of the initiatives that we took to ensure that the public adheres to the speed limits of the road and abide by the rules of the road. That is simply all we ask, that you abide by the rules of the road. 

“Unfortunately, we would have lost a mother, a wife, a sister; but again, we want to say to the motoring public of Grand Bahama, drive with caution and care and stay within the speed limits,” he urged. 

He further requested that drivers apply themselves to have knowledge of the roads.

“Please pay attention to the roads. We have a lot of curves and junctions and so, we ask that you please pay attention as you drive. If you do that, then these accidents would not occur so frequently. We have been probably averaging about 20 accidents per week, which is far too much for the island of Grand Bahama. Please leave from wherever you are in time, so that you can get to your destination on time. There will be no need for you to speed,” said Supt. Henfield.

Ironically, minutes following the report of the traffic fatality, officials were informed of yet another traffic accident, this time, on the Grand Bahama Highway.

While the passengers received serious injuries, there were no fatalities.  

“We also received a report of a single car collision involving three passengers. The vehicle lost control and ran into the bushes. We are leaving here to access the scene there. Again, we ask that you slow down,” said Henfield.

As it relates to the use of electronic devices and other distracting practices while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, the traffic chief admonished motorists not to engage in such potentially deadly practices.  

“We had an amendment to the law that talks about electronic devices. Persons should not be driving while using electronic devices. I cannot say at this time if that was the case in this particular accident, because we are just in the initial stages of investigation. We will definitely be able to update you on once we would have gotten further into our investigations. 

.“We just ask persons to follow the rules; do not drink and drive; no open alcoholic beverage containers in your car; and stay off of the cell phones. If you have to use your cell phone then just please ensure that it is connected by Bluetooth. It should not be in your hands. If you have a phone holder, rest your phone in the holder and then you will be able to talk while you have both hands on the wheel. Once persons follow those rules we should be good,” concluded Supt. Henfield. 

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