Ten months after the fatal road traffic accident involving a female police officer, who was at the wheel of the police vehicle involved, that killed 21-year-old Antoine Seaman, the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) has yet to complete their investigation.

But the young man’s mother told Bermuda Real that she has been told that the accident was her “son’s fault and that he was heading east riding on the wrong side of the road”.

The accident occurred during the early morning hours of April 15 in 2019 on Main Road in Somerset, near Willowbank Resort and Conference Centre, around 1:55am.

Bermuda Real made inquiries on the status of the investigation four weeks ago, with no answers from Police Media Relations until last week.

Finally, on February 13, 2020, a spokesman said: “The investigation into the fatal collision involving a police vehicle that claimed the life of 21 year old Antoine Seaman is in its final stages.

“As previously stated once the police investigation has concluded, the findings will be reviewed by the Police Complaints Authority, which is normal practice as required by legislation in incidents such as this and also ensures full transparency.”

As per the spokesman’s request, we submitted the following specific questions regarding this investigation:

*    Since this young man’s tragic death, what has happened to date with regards to the investigation and who exactly is investigating this fatal accident?
*    With regards to the officer involved in this fatal crash, is she still working while the investigation continues?
*    What is the current status of this investigation, has it started, still in progress, has it been completed?
*    Whatever that status is, what have the victim’s family been told if anything?
*    How do you explain why nearly ten months after this tragic accident there has been no official comment on the status of this investigation?
*    And more importantly, what is taking so long?
As you can see from the spokesman’s response – most of those questions went unanswered.
So we reached out to the young man’s family.
In a statement released to Bermuda Real, the young man’s mother – whose family we have known since before she was born, said she was told by Sergeant Dorian Astwood “that the accident was my son Antoine’s fault and that he was heading east riding on the wrong side of the road.
“When he noticed the police car heading towards him he tried to go over more to the left, but there was another bike riding along side him on the left which didn’t allow him to clear the police car.
“He then tried to go on the right hand side of the road to go in between the police car and the wall but it was too late and that’s when the police car struck and killed my son,” she said.
“The police officer is back to work and the investigation has been completed by the independent investigator. I have also been told that the final independent investigation has been completed and will be handed over to the DPP’s office for the final outcome.
“This was in September and we have not heard nothing since.”
Ultimately, she said: “This is very painful.”
In the initial police report issued after the fatal accident on April 15, 2019, a spokesman said: “Details are still emerging but it appears that a female police officer was responding to a call for service and driving a marked police car west on Main Road, when it appears that a male riding a motorcycle collided with the police car.

“This resulted in the 21-year-old Sandys man being taken via ambulance to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital where he subsequently died as a result of his injuries.”

Sgt Astwood, the head of the police inquiry, said a  full investigation is now underway, being led by Sergeant Dorian Astwood of the Roads Policing Unit.

On April 16, 2019, the Bermuda Police Service confirmed the death of 21-year-old Antoine Seaman who was killed in a fatal road crash with a police vehicle.

The motorcyclist, of Granaway Drive, Southampton, died as a result of his injuries when his bike was in collision with a police car near Willowbank in Sandys.

The early morning crash occurred while a female police officer, heading west in a marked patrol car was responding to a report of a disturbance.

Speaking at a news conference the following Monday, the Roads Policing Unit officer denied claims that the victim was being chased by police when the accident occurred.

Mr Seaman’s death marked the fourth road traffic fatality on Bermuda’s roads last year.

Sgt Astwood also confirmed that “a full notification has been passed to the independent body the Police Complaints Authority”.

“This is normal practice as required by legislation and ensures full transparency,” he said.

“This applies to incidents involving death or serious injury where an officer acting in the execution of his or her duty causes, or appears to have caused, death or serious injury to any person.

But he declined to comment on the circumstances of this fatal crash.

In April 2019, he said: “The Commissioner of Police shall, as soon as practicable, give the authority a written notice setting out particulars of the incident in which death or serious injury was caused.”

He confirmed that the officer driving the car involved in this fatal crash was uninjured and that at the time of the accident, she was in the car alone.

He also noted that there was “a family mourning…so it is correct we show compassion and don’t pre-empt any decisions or suggestions as to the circumstances at this time”.

“We are sensitive to the fact that this fatality took place in the early hours…and Antoine’s community are still coming to grips with this most unfortunate situation,” he said.

While noting that details were still emerging”, he also confirmed that the police officer driving the car was heading west and that the victim was travelling east in the opposite direction.

As noted, ten months – nearly a year later, the Bermuda Police Service has yet to release details on the findings of this investigation into the death of another young black male on Bermuda’s roads.