A CORONER’S court jury in the Cayman Islands has ruled that three holiday-makers from Dockenfield and Liphook died from “misadventure” after a three-day inquest reached its conclusion in the Caribbean last week.

Rotarian Ian Mansell, 72, and his wife Pamela, 74, both from Dockenfield, as well as Pamela’s sister Marlene Wright, 69 from Liphook, died shortly after 7pm on May 2 last year when their Kia Rio hire car was hit head-on by a Honda Accord driven by a Jamaican national working in the Caymans, Shannay Alexander Delapenha, 22, who also died.

According to the Cayman Compass newspaper, the jury heard evidence concerning the fatal collision, described as the “worst ever” on Cayman’s roads by the local police force, just days after the Mansells and Ms Wright had arrived at the nearby Morritt’s Tortuga Club Resort on holiday.

The court heard Mr Delapenha’s Honda left its lane and went into the lane of the oncoming Kia driven by Mr Mansell just moments after it was “clocked” by police radar travelling at 57mph in a 30mph limit and failed to stop when prompted by the police.

The Honda was later found to be unlicensed, uninsured and carrying conch despite the legal conch-fishing season coming to an end a few days earlier on April 30. Unlike the tourists, Mr Delapenha was not wearing a seatbelts - nor were his two male passengers travelling in the boot, who sustained injuries but survived the crash.

Jurors were told there was no direct evidence of the Kia’s speed, but accident reconstructionist Sergeant Lenford Butler said he found gouges and scrape marks in the road surface showing the Kia had been pushed backward some 22 feet from the point of impact - indicating the force and speed of the Honda was greater than that of the hire car.

Sgt Butler expressed his opinion that the driver of the Honda was “reckless” in not pulling over when the police officer sought to stop him by activating his blue lights and siren.

Instead, Mr Delapenha had continued around a blind corner, failed to negotiate the bend and swerved into the path of the Kia.

The court also heard alcohol was not a factor, the weather and visibility were good and the road surface was dry and in good condition.

Queen’s Coroner Eileen Nervik suggested Mr Delapenha sped up upon seeing the police and, had he survived the crash, in all likelihood he would have been charged with causing death by careless, reckless or even dangerous driving.

Instead, jurors returned four verdicts of ‘misadventure’, suggesting the deaths were the unintended consequence of a deliberate action.

Autopsy reports gave the cause of death for Mr Delapenha as ‘blunt impact trauma to the chest’, Ms Wright and Mrs Mansell ‘seat belt impact trauma’, and Mr Mansell ‘transection of the aorta’.