No prosecution in fatal accident in front of airport

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PHILIPSBURG – The Prosecutor’s Office will not prosecute any of the suspects in the fatal traffic accident involving a toddler on Saturday, August 20, in front of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) arrival hall.

The toddler ran across the street and was struck by a passing shuttle bus. He died at the scene from the injuries sustained.

Both the driver of the bus, and the toddler’s father were considered suspects in the investigation. The two men as well as a number of witnesses were heard by the police.

In addition, trace evidence collected from the scene and analyzed by the Traffic Department of the St. Maarten Police Force and secured video images from the Airport, which captured the incident, were evaluated in the investigation.

Regarding the shuttle bus driver, it cannot be established, taking into account the conditions at the scene, that the speed he was driving was too high, that he had not paid enough attention to his surroundings or that he has otherwise made a traffic offence. As a result, he cannot be blamed in a criminal way for the incident. As it pertains to him, it was a tragic accident.

Concerning the father’s actions (leaving his young children unattended in a car with the front door open on a public road with heavy traffic) it could be considered – in view of his obligation to take care of his children – that he was so irresponsible that he might be considered criminally culpable.

However, the Prosecutor’s Office, in this case, doesn’t find it appropriate to prosecute the father, given the disastrous effect of losing his child due to the accident.