By TANYA SMITH-CARTWRIGHT
THE landlord of a woman killed in a hit and run last year believes she was intentionally mowed down and that the incident was not an accident.
The claim is the latest in the saga of the Luann Joaquim, who died last November after she was struck by a car while exiting a taxi. Joaquim caught the cab home after leaving work at Bruno’s at Arawak Cay.
She was struck on West Bay Street, near her home, and sent spinning in the air and landed on her head. The car never stopped. She survived in a coma for two days and on November 15, 2019 she died of injuries including a broken neck and spine and severe trauma to the brain. No one has been brought to justice for her death.
In an interview with The Tribune, her landlord Rochelle Bain questioned why the driver was never found.
“It’s (six months since) Luann has been killed, how come no one has been found as yet? Other people have been found and charged before the courts for hit and runs. How come nothing like that has happened in the case of Luann Joaquim?”
An eyewitness has claimed to have given chase to Joaquim’s killer, alleging that it was a woman whose hair was in a ponytail.
“Luann was a beautiful person,” said Ms Bain. “The woman who killed her is a cold blooded murderer. This woman should have been brought to justice. She needs to be in jail. And the way how she hit Luann, I feel it was intentional. She used her car as a weapon. It was a murder.”
Police said the taxi driver told them he did not see the car that hit Joaquim because he was too busy trying to come to her aid.
Ms Bain suspects someone may have been following the taxi and intentionally hit her tenant. However police have not confirmed this theory.
“There’s a lot to this and this investigation needs to go deeper,” she said, adding she wants police to reinterview the taxi driver and others who were on scene to see if they can glean additional clues.
Joaquim lived on Augusta Street near St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church. Ms Bain said she and the deceased shared a very close friendship and she would really like to see the case solved.
“I went in and was interviewed,” she continued. “I went where the accident happened. A gentleman owns a conch stand and store and he told me he was one or two floors up on that night. He saw two fellows chase the car when it happened. They didn’t catch the driver. I feel the taxi driver is the key.
“As soon as Luann came out of the taxi, the car overtook two cars and hit her,” Ms Bain claimed. “That car literally hit Luann from one lamp pole to the next lamp pole. I couldn’t see her surviving that. These days everyone has their phone out recording everything. I wonder how come no one recorded when Luann was hit?”
Earlier this month, Chief Superintendent Mareno Hinds said CCTV footage of the accident has not aided police in their investigation.
He also said the eyewitness who claimed to have chased the driver and witnessed the person turn into police headquarters has never made a statement to police, he said, adding that the CCTV footage has not supported this claim.
CSP Hinds said the taxi driver who dropped the victim off also said he did not see the vehicle in question.
“Everyone who we spoke to seemed to be concerned about the victim at the time,” CSP Hinds added. “Those on the scene said that everything happened fast and they did not get a look at the car that hit her. We spoke with the taxi driver, he said he didn’t see the car either.”