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UPDATED: Doctor dies after being hit by taxi, HSA statement

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 18, 10 a.m.

A visiting doctor from Jamaica who was hit by a taxi as she crossed the road yesterday, Monday, July 17, has died at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

Vary Anetta Jones-Leslie, aged 62, had only just arrived in Cayman to assist at the hospital. She was hit by the taxi as she crossed the road by Owen Roberts International Airport. 

A statement released by the HSA said that they were “deeply saddened” by the passing of Dr. Jones-Leslie, and that the “impact on the staff of the Health Services Authority of the incident is immeasurable.”

“The Board, management and staff of the HSA extends sincere condolences to her husband, family and colleagues and friends both in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere during this difficult time,” HSA Chief Executive Officer Lizzette Yearwood said.

“Dr. Jones-Leslie will be remembered by her colleagues at the HSA, patients and friends as a respected and compassionate clinician who dedicated her life to serving others and was passionate about her job beyond just providing medical care.”

Ms. Yearwood added: “Colleagues remember her as a good clinician who was forward thinking and lived life to the fullest.”

Acting Medical Director, Dr. Elizabeth McLaughlin said her life and work as a clinician will be remembered by all at HSA.

“Her warm spirit, caring attitude and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others was exemplary,” Dr. McLaughlin said.

The statement added that the HSA would like to recognise and thank those who immediately offered assistance at the scene of the incident, the emergency medical crew, Dr. James Akinwunmi and the medical staff of the HSA who, despite their professional training, worked under very difficult emotional circumstances.

The statement also thanked the many organisations who worked together to facilitate Dr. Jones-Leslie’s husband’s travel to Cayman.

Police blast social media pictures

Meanwhile Commissioner of Police, Derek Byrne has blasted social media posters who uploaded a photograph of the woman as she lay injured in the street.

The image was circulated on Facebook and showed Ms. Jones-Leslie laying on the ground following the accident.

Mr. Byrne said: “As an organisation we are disturbed by the uploading and distribution of the image online yesterday morning of the victim at the scene.  

“It demonstrated a blatant disregard for the victim and her family, and I ask those who uploaded this photo to consider their own feelings if they were one of the victim’s relatives and saw this photo. 

“As far as we are aware, the image has been taken down. There was no value in the uploading of the picture other than morbid curiosity.  In this age of social media and immediate communication all of us have a duty to demonstrate common decency during tragic incidents.

“We at the RCIPS would like to extend our condolences to her family for their tragic loss.”


BREAKING: Monday, July 17, 1 p.m.

A woman is in a serious condition after she was hit by a car crossing a road near to the Owen Roberts International Airport.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said it received a report of an accident around 10 a.m. Monday close to the long stay car park at the airport.

The woman was struck by a taxi as she crossed the road.

Paramedics treated her at the scene before taking her to the Cayman Islands Hospital where her condition is described as serious.

Accident investigators are at the scene and traffic heading to the airport is being diverted.




About Joanna Lewis

Joanna heads up the team at The Cayman Reporter, bringing more than 15 years industry experience as a newspaper and magazine editor, journalist, features writer and public relations specialist. Originally from the U.K., Joanna graduated with a BA (hons) in Journalism from the University of Sheffield. She is the former editor of a Cayman-based food and wine magazine as well as a former editor of a popular weekly lifestyle supplement covering arts and entertainment. When not focused on the news of the day and the day-to-day running of the business, Joanna likes to find time to write lifestyle articles on her particular areas of interest; food and wine, health and beauty, interior design, travel, and with the recent arrival of her little girl Ella, parenting.

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