Horror death crash recalled in court


A horror head-on collision that claimed the life of a 21-year-old woman was relived by witnesses in Supreme Court yesterday.

Sophie Fraser-Smith died after her bike was in collision with a truck driven by 41-year-old Clinton Smith on Middle Road, Southampton.

Ernie Ogalesco told the court he was riding his bike east to go shopping at Heron Bay and shouted warnings to the truck in front of him as he saw it veer into the wrong lane.

He said: “I thought he was going to go straight and hit the wall, but I saw the black bike coming and I saw the head-on collision.”

He added the truck “took up the whole right lane” and struck Ms Fraser-Smith’s westbound bike “face on”.

The crash happened on July 18 last year, the day of the General Election, and police at the nearby polling station in Heron Bay School were first on the scene.

Mr Ogalesco said he went to help the injured girl but was told by police not to touch her.

He added: “I saw the driver come close to the girl.”

Mr Ogalesco showed the court how Mr Smith held his hands to his head before he sat down at the roadside.

Defence lawyer Elizabeth Christopher questioned his memory of the point of impact.

Mr Ogalesco said he was “100 per cent sure”.

Mr Smith denies causing the death by careless driving of Ms Fraser-Smith, a model.

He was driving a Dunkley’s delivery truck when the collision happened just after 3pm.

Crown counsel Nicole Smith told a jury Mr Smith’s “standard of driving fell well below the standard of a careful and prudent driver on Bermuda’s roads”.

Ms Smith added: “You may hear the accused allege that something was wrong on the steering on the truck.

“The Crown’s case is that the truck was examined subsequent to this event, and there was no fault found with the braking or the steering.”

Ms Smith said that a traffic collision investigator would tell the jury that the fault lay “wholly” with Mr Smith.

Another witness broke down in tears as she told the court about efforts to save Ms Fraser-Smith.

Krystal Rodrigues, said she had noticed a woman motorcyclist just ahead of her car as she headed west on Middle Road to vote.

Ms Rodrigues, whose boyfriend was a passenger in the car, added traffic was light, with “hardly anyone” on the roads.

She added: “There was nothing much to observe — she was not riding in any way that would call my attention.”

Ms Rodrigues said she “heard the crash” as she approached the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall on Middle Road and saw “the top of the truck and pieces of debris in the air”.

She added: “By the time I got around the corner the truck was passing us, and I was fearful the truck would hit us.”

She said it “felt like forever” but “it could not have been more than a couple of seconds”.

Ms Rodrigues said she saw Ms Fraser-Smith “falling directly in front of us, and the bike fell on top of her”.

Ms Rodrigues added she ran to help Ms Fraser-Smith but people from the polling station tended to her, so she helped her boyfriend call for an ambulance.

She said she saw the driver of the truck “walk up to Ms Fraser-Smith”.

Mr Rodrigues added: “He just kept asking if she was going to be OK.”

She told the court that an emergency medical technician on his way to Port Royal stopped and asked to borrow her phone to call the ambulance.

She said: “He said that they needed to get there pretty quickly”.

The trial continues.

It is /The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

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