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Canadian trapped in Cuba after car accident


Man this would suck. This is why renting a car to drive in Cuba has always scared me. I’d rather take a cab or hire someone. If Cuba is going to rent cars to tourists, they need to design a solid policy in writing to avoid this. Like insurance. I guess they need to figure out if there was a criminal element to this. (booze, careless ect)…

…I say fine the kid and send him home. Let the Ontario courts pickup the case maybe? (just an idea)

…but “Regardless of the nature of the accident, it can take five months to a year for a case to go to go to trial while the driver is banned from leaving the country”.


accidents will happen!


Exactly. I’ve heard several horror stories, but first time I’ve seen one in print.

Obviously, from this we are getting just one side of the story, but a great example of how stuff can happen.


There’s a thread about this subject on another forum that suggests in Cuba you must be 21 years old to drive a rental car…possibly part of the problem. It’s not only Cuba that won’t let you leave after a traffic accident. If there are injuries or death as a result, (and there is a question of who is at fault) you likely wouldn’t be allowed to leave Canada until the case was resolved. I remember a diplomat trying to do an end run around this a few years ago, citing immunity.


It’s a mess, but I certainly wouldn’t believe anything that’s written in a Canadian newspaper as gospel, there’s absolutely two sides to this story.

My guess… I’ve rented more cars in Cuba than I can remember and I’ve never seen a contract that allowed anyone under 21 years old to drive under any circumstances. Even a 21 year old has to have a license that’s been issued more than 2 years prior.

I’m betting the family rented the car and allowed the son to drive, even though he wasn’t on the contract. The son is now driving illegally, without insurance. Big accident… and rest is obvious… a very complicated legal situation…

I hope it turns out well for everyone… they pay for their mistake and are allowed to move on… and in the meantime it’s a good wake-up call for other clueless tourists to stop being idiots in a foreign country…


I feel sorry for those involved. Car crashes are bad no matter where they are.
This is a prime example of why the only traffic jam I want is at the beach bar.
I am waiting for the obvious jokes about headlights and bumpers LOL
( a little levity doesn’t hurt ! )


I sent a note to the Star reminding them about how, llegally driving an uninsured vehicle in any country, isn’t a good idea.
In Canada, an injured passenger would sue the car driver and the truck driver for injuries … the lawyers and the court would sort out how much would be paid by each.
I wonder if the boy’s family would send a couple of hundred thousand dollars as bail for their uninsured birthday boy?
A good reminder for us all.


Scooters pose the same risk…plus your survival chances are far less if you do end up in a crash…yet lots of people still insist on renting them. Of course, a lot of people also enjoy swim up bars…I suppose sitting for hours in a cesspool is in a different category of “stupid” :wink:


[quote=@eeeefarm][quote=@angelsmoke] Of course, a lot of people also enjoy swim up bars…I suppose sitting for hours in a cesspool is in a different category of "stupid" :wink:


At least , that will not kill you .
It might make you want to die, but not kill you.
BTW ,I will not use a swim up bar , or pools in general.


Things just took a turn for the worse…



This may be a long thread.


:slight_smile: I wonder what resort he gets to stay at. :-*


Sunwing partner resort, St Lucia is all I got. Easy enough to find out.
Can’t be good for him.
Anybody going that way?? … maybe drop off some fresh underwear, good wishes, etc?

I sent a note through the reporter to ask me if there were some personal things we might take to him…


…and who gets to foot the bill!

I’d consider a “fender-bender” if I got to “stay & play” at Caracol for a few months…but not if I had to pay for it! :wink:


No eeeefarm , I still would not want to do that.
The only vehicle accidents that are okay is ones that envolve the drink cart.
( " I am pinned by the rum cart, send help ,eventually " )

I have to blame the parents of this boy for this mess. Just how drunk do you have to be to have a 19 year old drive in Cuba as the best option you have ? He got hit in the side by a large truck. He did not check sidestreets as he passed them. The parents said that the roads were very bad and lots of potholes so they were not able to drive with any speed so why did not the boy check roads as he approached them ?
ANY rental place in North America that I have used has said no drivers under the age of 21 and most say 25.


Since it now involves a trial, clearly the Cubans feel he was involved in an illegal act…most likely, as Martian stated, he should not have been at the wheel of the car. A careless mistake which is now resulting in serious repercussions and mental trauma for this unfortunate young man. If only tourists would think before they act.


If he wasn’t listed on the rental agreement (and I believe all rentals in Cuba insist on 21, some want 25 years old) then the insurance is invalid, so yes, he was committing an illegal act, regardless of fault in the crash. The second news report says the occupants of the car were his mother, his second cousin (not the uncle, as was first reported) and the second cousin’s Cuban fiance (female). So perhaps he was the most qualified driver…his second cousin may not be much older (if at all) than he is…and maybe Mom isn’t comfortable driving a shift. I am speculating here, but I am sure there is more to this story.

The lesson is a good one, however. And a cautionary tale for everyone, even experienced older drivers. If you are involved in a collision in Cuba, there is every chance you may be detained, especially if there are serious injuries or loss of life. Even if you are not at fault, it may be some time before all is resolved…and you are at a serious disadvantage if you don’t speak the language.

The same would of course apply to scooters…


In short, folks, just take the guided tours or pay a driver - avoid scooters and driving. I’m not being sarcastic (for once) - different rules, country, laws, road conditions…

Too bad the kid isn’t American - CNN would be all over this, he’d get a book and movie deal, and would end up on The Bachelorette or Big Brother XXXXVII… :wink:


:slight_smile: And this is proof, yet again, that many tourists forget to pack their common sense when they travel, along with their manners, courtesy and respect. :-*


:slight_smile: And Nancy Grace would have a field day! :wink: :-*


Eloisegirl I had such a chuckle out of your CNN comment but the sad thing is it’s so true. The mother probably would be on all the shows right now.