Police officer worked back-to-back shifts before collision
A policeman, whose vehicle was involved in a collision with Whitfield Herbert’s 10 years ago that resulted in Herbert’s death, appeared in the No.5 Supreme Court today for the start of his trial.
Carlos Walcott, who resides at Hopewell, St Thomas, denied causing Herbert’s death by dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to dangerous driving before Justice Jacqueline Cornelius.
The accident occurred along the Lancaster section of the Ronald Mapp Highway on April 8, 2006. Herbert was driving S7273 and was travelling northward at the time. Walcott, on the other hand, was travelling toward the south and was driving T4075, a car owned by someone else.
Principal Crown Counsel Anthony Blackman said that according to police investigations, at 6 a.m. on that date, visibility was good and the road dry, but at some point, Walcott encroached on to the path of the other car, causing a collision.
The right front of Walcott’s vehicle collided with the right side of Herbert’s, with Walcott’s car eventually coming to rest 195 feet away from the point of impact. Both vehicles were extensively damaged, the prosecutor said.
Blackman said there was no evidence to show that Walcott was under the influence that morning but what investigations revealed was that he had worked back-to-back shifts – from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. followed by 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.
He had attended a cruise afterwards and had dropped home someone in St Lucy. He was on his way back when the accident occurred.
When ambulance personnel spoke to Herbert at the scene, he could not remember the accident. Walcott, on the other hand, told police he did not know how it happened.
Blackman contended it was Walcott’s “act of driving that contributed to the deceased’s death.” Herbert, who was 60 at the time, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital ten days after the accident.
The court ordered a presentencing report on Walcott, who returns there on April 11. He is being represented by attorney-at-law Kendrid Sargeant.