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So I’m a little confused by this…

November 13, 2009

Similarities:
Both Luke Armstrong and Roger Bowen were driving drunk when the accidents occur.  Police allege Roger Bowen crossed into the lane of Larry Thomas since his van was found on the wrong side of the road.  Luke Armstrong’s heavy truck veered onto the wrong side of the road when he struck Winston Burrows based on scrape marks in the road.  Winston Burrows later tests showed he had alcohol and cocaine in his system. Larry Thomas also had more than twice the legal amount of alcohol and cannabis in his bloodstream when he died.  

Differences:
Roger Bowen gets off on a legal technicality relating to evidence surrounding the breath test.  There was no evidence regarding any breath test result shared with the jury in Luke Armstrong’s case. Luke Armstrong is an expat. Roger Brown – I’m assuming Bermudian, but I couldn’t find anything in the RG articles stating his citizenship. 

Luke Armstrong is guilty and yet Roger Bowen is cleared.

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18 comments

  1. Luke Armstrong is guilty and yet Roger Bowen is cleared.

    jury nullification

    Luke Armstrong is white

    and Roger Bowen is black


  2. white and black have nothing to do with that. The Bowen case simply got fudged up by a batch of legal bollox.


  3. Agreed Tryangle. I was just pointing out the similarities and difference between the cases. I do find it interesting that Luke Armstrong was convicted by a jury even though the breath test wasn’t included in the trial. Yet because the prosecution didn’t produce adequate evidence in Bowen’s case, the breath test couldn’t be presented and yet he gets off. Amazingly, we hear after the fact that he was involved in a similar accident only two months prior for drinking while impaired. I find it scary that he is still potentially out on Bermuda’s roads.


  4. i think the whole case against luke armstrong is a joke i find it very funny that mr bowen got off and he was over the imit and drugs in his system but he walks free i think it does come down to him being bermudian i think its disgusting, mr burrows who died in mr armstrongs case was over the limit and cocaine in his system i dont think any 1 should be sent 2 jail for his death if anyone should be to blame it should be the women who let him drive her car aswell, something should be done


  5. Thing is that in Armstrong’s case, the defendant was found to be driving a vehicle he’s not licenced to drive, and was in the other driver’s lane. That part appears cut and dry.

    And again with regard to the Bowen case, someone screwed up in applying the breathalyser, turning what appeared to be a clear case into shambles – hopefully the powers that be will ensure that situation can never happen again.


    • In response to the above comment, the evidence of Armstrong being in the other driver’s lane is not cut and dry. Two expert road investigators, under oath shared with the jury that they could not say where the initial impact of the vehicles occured and they both said that the initial impact could have happened on Armstrong’s side of the road!! where is the justice. Also Luke was not driving drunk, he passed his breath test. The juidicial system in Bermuda is a joke. I cannot believe that England and Bermuda are part of same colony. This case wouldn’t have got to court if it happened in England so it does beg the question as to whether he’s been discriminated against because he’s a white expat!!!! No further comment.


  6. Thanks for the follow-up emma with regards to the investigators’ testimonies. If who was on whose side of the road is still in doubt then I’ll agree that it’s not cut and dry after all.

    However, the guy still wasn’t licenced to drive the truck and at the very least that’s a bookable offense. Jailable offense, I’m not so sure of (although if there’s a death involved?).


  7. Unfortunately Tryangle, driving without a licence doesn’t seem to account for much on this island.

    I was involved in a three vehicle accident years ago – I wasn’t driving, but we were the third vehicle involved. The first vehicle was a bike and the second a landscaping truck – neither driver had the appropriate licence to drive the vehicle they were driving. The landscaping truck was pulling a metal trailer of equipment, which is what the vehicle I was in struck. The trailer didn’t have break light connections – which believe it or not is completely legal in Bermuda…no where else in a developed nation can you drive hauling something and not have break light attachments. The icing on the cake – the driver of the vechile I was in was the only one charged with ‘driving without due care and attention’. The other drivers got off the hook even though they didn’t have proper licences. There are some fundamental things wrong with the system that need to be fixed!


    • Put yourself in this position, Your a 24 year old lad wanting to come to bermuda to further your career and to work on a beautiful island and provide an income to support your young family living in England. Following an interview you was offered a post as an engineer with a good salary. You arrived on an island, which you have never visited before so therefore you have little knowledge of driving licence categories. Before you commence your post as engineer you take your driving test, pass and recieve a licence. You are then given a company vehicle to drive. You are then involved in a road traffic accident and oh my god, you discover the company you work for have given you a truck which you wasn’t licenced to drive!! To summarise, Armstrong did not realise he wasn’t licenced to drive the vehicle he was driving. After all it was only a small ford pickup!! So any normal young british citizen who had passed their test would not question whether they should be driving a small Ford ranger. Question: should Luke have researched the whole of bermudian law and licencing regulations prior to him accepting a vehicle from a trusting and reputable company!!! No I don’t think so and I’m sure if any of you were in the same situation you would have been happily driving about in a vehicle you thought you had passed your test to drive. Also You would not be jailed in England for driving without a licence.


      • Hi Emma,

        I agree with you in that it is excessive for Luke to have researched all of Bermudian law and regulations prior to driving. However, the Bermuda divers licenses are pretty clear and even include pictures of the vehicles one is permitted to drive on the back of the license. I don’t think Luke is entirely at fault here, I would have thought that the company he was working for would have checked his licence to ensure he was indeed licenced to drive their vehicles just from an insurance stand point.


  8. i agree emma the bermuda law is a joke he shouldnt be in there and i hope something is done there was no evidence against him that was fact no one should be sent to prison on that evidence that was provided bermuda should be ashamed in my opionion the judge was concentrating too uch on how the public would react thats not doing your job right its a young mans life shes played with, fair enough a man lost his life but he risked that when he got in the car the sate he was in…


  9. i understand what your saying but in england the vehicle he was driving isnt classed as a heavy truck in the uk and as a driver my self i wouldnt of thought any different my self


    • Natasha, ever country is different and I definitely think it was wrong of Luke to assume just because he had a drivers licence he could drive a heavy truck. Again, I argue that if he had flipped over the back the licence it shows pictures depicting – 1. private car, 3. Lt truck & private car <5500 lbs, and 4. int Lt Truck and private car <9000lbs. Your licence clearly states what you're allowed to drive. Luke could have easily asked his employer or called up TCD if he was unsure about what he could drive. Again, I think the employer should have looked at his licence as opposed to taking his word verbatim.


  10. I think there is other evidence in this case that is more questionable than the fact he did not have the appropiate licence to drive the vehicle he was in. I’m sure Luke made friends with fellow Bermuidans and coworkers when he arrived that could have helped him out with this TCD and obtaining an appropriate licence.


  11. totally understand what your saying but him driving that truck didnt cause the accident but dont think its a prison sentence either there was no evidence that was fact,, mr burrows got in the car knowing he was over the limit on cocaine no lisence and a paralised arm thats a fact, also it was even said that they could not tell the exact point of impact the area of impact was on both mr burrows and mr armstrongs side i just dont see how a jury could find him guilty of causing the crash its rediculous, the women that handed her his car keys should be answering 2 something if she did the right thing and got a taxi home then it may not have happened she was his friend for years and knew he had a paralised arm theres no way you can drive safely with no left arm, i think there was to many ifs and buts , i think the judge felt pressure because of the roger bowen case iknow its a different case but he was in a worse situation than mr armstrong and he walked free its wrong thats my opinion


  12. Oh shut up it has nothing to do with race! Get over it! 15 months big whoop! And Emma aren’t you the murder drunks sister? And BS everyone knows you can’t just use a regular private car license to drive a HEAVY TRUCK! Like someone would just go drive a big bus! Is he that stupid? In that case he deserves his sentence. Whats the big deal? He is most definitely GUILTY and 15 months won’t KILL HIM like he did Winston Burrows!


    • i suggest u keep ur fuckin black mouth shut u stupid half wit thick bermudian!am glad all that shit and shooting is going onn there and hope it carries on and wipes all u fuckin bermudians out.as for the crash burrows killed him fuckin self!!!


  13. i think a bus is abit different 2 the truck he was diving, winston burrows should not of been behind the wheel of that car either did he hav a license NO.. he got in that car knowing that and he put 2 other ppls lives at risk i drive my self and know that theres no way you could drive with a paralised left arm, luke armstrong wasnt drunk or he would of been charged with that, obviously your a friend or family member but calling him a murderer is harsh if he is then the women who gave winsten burrows her car keys should be branded that too…
    if you dont like my opinion fine



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