TRIBUTES have poured in for three members of the same family – including a pensioner from Liphook – killed in a horrific car crash in the Cayman Islands.
Husband and wife Ian and Pamela Mansell, from Dockenfield, Surrey, described by friends as the “life and soul of the party”, and Pamela’s sister Marlene Wright died after their Kia Rio hire car was hit head-on by a Honda Accord shortly after 7pm on May 2.
The fatal crash happened in the East End area of the island just minutes from the holiday-makers’ hotel, and came just days after Ian, Pamela and Marlene had arrived in the Caribbean.
The 22-year-old Jamaican driver of the Honda was also killed in the crash, which Island police have described as the “worst ever” on Cayman’s roads. Two other passengers thought to be travelling in the open boot of the Honda, aged 11 and 26, were seriously injured but survived.
Ian, 72, and Pamela, 74, from Dockenfield, and Marlene, 68, from Liphook, were staying at Morrit’s Tortuga Club on Grand Cayman’s east coast where they had stayed on numerous previous visits.
The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on New Year’s Eve in 2016 with a big party at The Bluebell pub, in Dockenfield, near Farnham, and before leaving for the Cayman Islands were also planning Marlene’s 70th birthday celebration, in June.
According to The Royal Cayman Islands Police, the Honda that hit the Mansell’s hire car was seen by a patrol car driving above the speed limit just moments before the fatal crash.
Chief Inspector Frank Owens denied there was a pursuit. After switching on his blue lights the traffic officer turned his car around but the Honda was already out of sight, he said.
A short time later the patrol car came across the wreckage of the two cars.