ZR driver fined and banned for injuring schoolgirl

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The ZR driver who made national headlines in 2015 when a schoolgirl lost her arm whilst travelling in his vehicle, has been disqualified from driving for the next 18 months.

Magistrate Graveney Bannister imposed the sentence as well as fines on Matthew Ricardo Daniel, of Licorish Village, My Lords Hill, St Michael, in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court today.

On June 2, Daniel, who was represented by attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens, was found guilty of wilful misconduct causing bodily harm to Zakiyah Defreitas, dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention and driving without reasonable consideration for other road users on June 9, 2015.

For the first offence, the magistrate imposed a $2, 500 fine on Daniel who must pay the amount in 30 days or spend six months in prison. In addition, he was disqualified from driving any class of vehicle for 12 months.

He was also slapped with a $500 forthwith fine which carried a 50-day prison term and disqualified from driving for a further six months. The fine was paid.

The time Daniel spent on remand was also taken into consideration with regards to the other charges as well as the results of a presentencing report by the Probation Department, which showed he was at “a low risk” of re-offending.

In his ruling last June, Bannister chastised Daniel for his conduct on the day when ZR125, which he was driving, overturned on Nursery Drive, Bridgetown, resulting in the hand of the then 14-year-old Springer Memorial School student being severed.

“The driver of a public service vehicle has a high duty of care as they carry precious cargo [people] whose lives they transport,” the magistrate said in his written ruling then, adding that the road was not a playground.

“A driver of a PSV should not accede to any request to do foolishness on the roads and endanger people’s lives by causing grave injuries.”

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