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Coast Guard Officer charged for Crooked tree boat accident Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

On Wednesday, September 3, a single charge of manslaughter by negligence was levied against Coast officer, 49-year-old Whain Williams. Williams was arraigned before Magistrate Herbert Panton. He was unrepresented.  A single charge of manslaughter by negligence was read to him for the January 31, 2014 death of 20-year-old Benjamin Jerome Gentle Junior. After the charge was read to him, Magistrate Panton said, “I could not help but question why you are before me on this charge.”  He commented saying that “Weren’t you in the execution of your duties.”   Nevertheless, the charge was read to him. Because the matter is an indictable offense, no plea was taken from Williams. There was no objection to bail and Magistrate Panton offered him bail in the sum of 2 thousand dollars plus one surety of the same amount which he met.

On the morning of Friday, January 31, 2014, at around 5:30 a.m., Gentle Junior and others boarded “Mi Sarita” vessel in Crooked Tree. At around 6:00 a.m. Half hour later, the vessel collided into a Coast guard vessel, namely, C-GO3 and Gentle Junior died as a result. The incident occurred in the Crooked Tree Lagoon as the boat Junior was in was being used to shuttle residents out of the village due to the flood the village was experiencing. In the collision 8 other persons were injured but survived.