Cleevie on left/Steelie at right
Wycliffe 'Steelie' Johnson, one-half of the famed riddim duo, 'Steelie and Clevie' was freed of a dangerous driving charge in connection with the death of 12-year-old Merl Grove High school student Shakarra Harris in the Home Circuit Court jury last week.
Steelie had been charged with causing death by dangerous driving. The charge arose from a motor vehicle accident along the Constant Spring Road near the school at 6:00 a.m. on January 23 last year. Shakarra who lived at Big Road, Glengoffe, St. Catherine was on her way to school at the time of the accident. The Crown alleged that Johnson drove the car in a manner which was dangerous to the public.
A witness testified that when the car hit Shakarra, she went up in the air. She said when Shakarra fell to the ground, the car dragged her for about 15 feet. However, Dr. Percival Henry testified that the girl suffered a broken neck.
Cross-examined by defence lawyer Berrie Bryan who represented Johnson, the doctor said that from the injuries he saw, the driver could not have been going faster than 20 to 25 miles per hour . He said if the girl was knocked in the air after the accident and dragged for several feet, he would expect to see more injuries to the body.
Johnson denied the allegations and said he had been travelling at about 25 miles per hour in the middle lane going in the direction of Dunrobin Avenue. He said it was dark at the time and the girl came from nowhere and collided with his car. Johnson said he sought assistance to take girl to the Kingston Public Hospital and went immediately to the Constant Spring police station and reported the matter.
Mrs. Justice Almarie Haynes presided at the trial which began on Monday. After Johnson was freed, he said he was sorry that a life had been lost but he was innocent of the charge