A child’s toy car lies by the front wheel of a white Kia Picanto as a silent witness at the scene of the traffic accident on Passion Fruit Road in Retreat Estate on January 13. (File photo)
PHILIPSBURG–The man who caused a traffic accident on Passion Fruit Road in Retreat Estate on January 13 will be charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder and severe mistreatment, the Prosecutor announced during Wednesday’s pro-forma court hearing. To shed more light on what had actually transpired three months ago the Judge allowed the lawyer’s request for a re-enactment on the scene of the accident.
Among the four victims were a child who would have turned three years old the next day, on January 14. All were injured when a white Kia Picanto drove into a group of young men who were outside the entrance to a house at Passion Fruit Road.
“As a result of the action by the driver of the small white vehicle, the toddler died of the injuries he sustained and three other persons were taken to SMMC [St. Maarten Medical Centre – Ed.] to be treated for injuries they sustained,” the police said at the time.
Two suspects voluntarily turned themselves in to investigators at the Philipsburg police station. One was released later, whereas J.N.R.H. (20) remains in custody pending further investigation.
As this case involves severe charges and the case file does not provide a “clear image,” attorney-at-law Sjamira Roseburg requested additional investigations.
She requested coloured photos and video images taken at the scene and requested a re-enactment of what exactly had transpired that day in January.
The defence also seeks to establish at what speed her client had been driving his vehicle. Roseburg said that, according to her client, he had lost control of the steering wheel.
The suspect denies that he had even seen the child who died in the incident. “That has never been my intention,” he told the Judge on Wednesday.
The Prosecutor objected to a re-enactment because, according to him, the pictures taken at the scene were clear. Besides, the witnesses would not have been able to provide much clarity as they had not seen the vehicle, but only heard the sound of the engine before it drove into the group. “Suddenly the car was there,” one of them said.
Pending additional investigations, among them the re-enactment, the Judge set the date for the hearing on June 19. He also said that video images of the incident are to be made available to the defence.