By Latrishka Thomas
A jury has returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of a man who was charged with causing the death of another by dangerous driving.
In 2015, John Sweeney, the driver of a rental jeep, was accused of causing the death of motorcyclist Lyndon Benta,
The deceased, Benta, was heading east on Old Parham Road on February 8 when his motorcycle and Sweeney’s Toyota Rav 4 collided just outside Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) around 7 p.m.
Sweeny was on trial since last week in the High Court before Justice Stanley John, during which time, several witnesses were called to the stand.
Witnesses testified to seeing the motorcyclist collide with the jeep and being thrown a few feet into the air.
According to the defendant’s sworn testimony yesterday, he was extremely cautious before turning into KFC, and was only suddenly alerted by the motorcycle light a few seconds before the collision.
The prosecutor suggested that the defendant testified that the motor cycle light was turned on at the last minute to escape liability.
Her final submission stated that momentary inattentiveness could easily amount to dangerous driving and said that the accused was guilty of doing just that; causing him to turn before it was safe to do so.
The accused’s lawyer, Lawrence Daniel, argued that witness statements prove that the deceased was speeding due to the skid marks made by the motor cycle and the huge impact it had when it collided with the jeep.
The deceased was a 26-year-old soldier who died five days after the tragic accident, which the pathologist who examined the body at the time revealed was from a pulmonary embolism caused by the accident.
A day after the death of the defence force member, the accused, who was 24 years old at the time, was charged.
He was later granted $25,000 bail with a requirement to pay a $10,000 bond when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh.
The former Liberta resident also had to get two persons to sign as sureties on his behalf to assure the court that he would return for all future hearings.