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Death Of Man In Collision With Rbdf Vessel Is Referred To Coroner's Court

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE case of a man killed in a Royal Bahamas Defence Force boating accident has been referred to the Coroner's Court, Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said yesterday.

Christopher Turnquest, 25, was in the harbour in a 13-foot skiff east of Potter's Cay Dock around 8pm on October 2, 2016, when his vessel was struck by a RBDF patrol vessel.

He was on the skiff with his cousin, who jumped from the vessel moments before the collision and survived the crash.

Turnquest's body, however, was found sometime after the crash and it was discovered that he had drowned because of the collision.

ACP Fernander said last year that police were canvassing and seeking witnesses to the accident.

"At the end of the day, if we don't come up with any witnesses to suggest anything, the matter will be referred to the Coroner's Court," he said at the time.

He confirmed yesterday that the matter has since been referred to the coroner.

"At the end of the day we do not want the family to think that the police are taking sides, we are not," he said. "We will give them closure."

The Coroner's Court faces a significant and longstanding backlog of cases, meaning it could take years before this matter is considered.

Turnquest's family had expressed grief last year that it heard little from police about the investigation into his death.

"Someone needs to be held accountable," Ryan Turnquest, the older brother of the deceased, said.

He questioned why there had been no arrests in the matter and he expressed belief that the collision happened because the RBDF vessel was allegedly speeding in the harbour.

Turnquest's family created a Facebook page, called "Justice for Chris", to honour him.

The page is frequently updated and is followed by 963 people.

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