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Man pleads guilty to six counts of manslaughter in Flat Bridge crash

The Suzuki Grand Vitara – which was owned and operated by 43-year-old Bishop Stephen Ricketts, who also died – was carrying eight persons at the time.

The driver of a vehicle in which six people, including a revivalist bishop, died after it plunged into the Rio Cobre last year, pleaded guilty in the St Catherine Circuit Court on Wednesday morning. 

The man is Elfrego Slew, a labourer of Dam Head district in the parish.

Slew had been slapped with charges of six counts of manslaughter, driving without a licence and driving insurance following the crash.

He was remanded into custody by presiding judge Justice Nicole Simmons for sentencing on January 11.

Slew was alleged to have been driving a blue 2012 Suzuki Vitara, which plunged into the Rio Cobre at about 1 a.m. on Saturday, July 16, 2016 after he reportedly misjudged the turn onto the bridge.

The Suzuki Grand Vitara – which was owned and operated by 43-year-old Bishop Stephen Ricketts, who also died – was carrying eight persons at the time.

The others who drowned were: Bishop Ricketts’ two sons, Shevaughnie Ricketts and Sujay Ricketts of Commodore; 29-year-old Benjamin Ellis and 21-year-old Shantel Morris of Tawes Pen – all of St Catherine.

The sixth victim that was pulled from the Rio Cobre at 10 a.m. that Saturday was O’Neil Robinson.

The other survivor of the accident was 19-year-old Shane Harris. Harris, who was from Tawes Pen in St Catherine.

All the passengers in the vehicle were a group of revivalists from the Mount Maria Zion Truth Fellowship Spiritual Church of God in Commodore, St Catherine.

It is further understood that they were going home with the Bishop to Commodore to prepare for a church trip to Hanover the following day.

Slew had fled the crash scene and turned himself over to the police on Sunday, July 17.

 

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