Scooters confiscated by the police in St. Eustatius. (File photo)
ST. EUSTATIUS--The police in St. Eustatius are investigating a collision at 1:11am on January 24 that caused injuries to a pedestrian.
In the incident, a young woman was walking on Road to Under the Hill when a motorbike slammed into her. She was taken to Queen Beatrix Medical Center for treatment. As she had sustained significant injuries, the woman was airlifted to St. Maarten Medical Center for further treatment. Due to her medical condition, the police initially were unable to speak with her.
Chief of Basic Police Care St. Eustatius Inspector Robelto Hodge stated Sunday that the police were eventually able to speak with the victim via telephone. The police have now started a criminal investigation into the collision and are appealing to residents who may have information about the accident. Persons are requested to call the police station at tel. 318-2333 or come to the police station to give information to Brigadier David Lee Winklaar, who is in charge of the investigation.
The accident took place on the road to the Meals on Wheelz bar, where happy hour was taking place at the time. Many people were present at that location for the event, Hodge said.
He said that for a number of years motorbike and scooter riders have been endangering persons who use the public roads. The police are addressing this issue.
Hodge said that individuals on scooters or motorbikes ride very recklessly. “Many of the riders are youngsters who are driving without driver’s licence, registration, insurance, or any type of documentation, and this is being done with the full knowledge of their parents. These riders are causing very dangerous situations on the street, notwithstanding the noise pollution that they create in the neighbourhoods.”
Over the past few months, the police have confiscated scooters from riders without documentation.
Hodge said that police investigations of road accidents involving motorbikes or scooters are sometimes hindered because friends or relatives of the motorcycle/scooter rider involved in the incident remove the vehicle from the scene, because these persons know that when the motor vehicle is not insured the police will confiscate it. However, disrupting the scene of an accident or collision by taking away items is a crime, Hodge explained.
“Everyone knows that the police will come and do an investigation, especially when someone is hurt. Family members remove the vehicle from the scene in an attempt to stop the vehicle from being confiscated, but that jeopardises the investigation. Victims are then deprived of justice being done in their case, because when the crime scene or the scene of a collision is disrupted it makes it more difficult to ascertain how the accident occurred.”
He said the rider involved in the accident near Meals on Wheelz had a driver’s licence, but someone had removed the bike from the scene. The police spoke to the driver and learned what bike was involved in the incident.
Persons in Statia were spreading information that the young woman had been riding a scooter, but Hodge said the victim was not riding a motorbike but was walking on the side of the road when the motorbike slammed into her.
“That statement about the victim being on a motorbike is false. The victim’s motorbike was left at home that night,” said Hodge. He said that if the police found out who had removed the motorbike from the scene of the collision, that person would be prosecuted.