A Spanish citizen was arrested in Bali after a fatal moped crash. The incident occurred on Tuesday, 11th October, at 10.30 AM. The crash happened in Batukandik Village on the island of Nusa Penida. While the Spanish citizen is believed to have escaped the crash without serious injury, a 52-year-old local man died at the scene.
The Nusa Penida Police have assigned the case to the Klungkung Regency Police Traffic Unit. The victim has been named as Bendesa Adat Kertabuana (Traditional Village Leader), I Nengah Merta Gunada. According to local reports, the Spanish citizen, known as 34-year-old RA, was driving his moped with his partner riding as a passenger. The couple was driving towards Buyuk Harbor when he turned right at a T-junction. At the same time, Bendesa Adat Kertabuana was approaching the junction from the west. Local reports suggest that the collision was unavoidable.
It has been confirmed that Bendesa Adat Kertabuana died at the scene due to his head injuries. Confirming the arrest and the opening of the case to the press on Wednesday, 12th October, the Head of the Nusa Penida Police, Kompol I Gede Redastra, told reporters, ‘We have delegated the handling of this case to the Klungkung Police Traffic Unit’.
The Head of Klungkung Traffic Police had little to share with the media at the announcement. AKP Wahyu Joko Nugroho simply said, ‘We have secured the foreigners involved in the collision’. He also stated that there would be an initial hearing on the case on Thursday, 13th October. Neither Kompol I Gede Redastra nor AKP Wahyu Joko Nugroho said whether RA has been charged with a crime.
There is CCTV footage of the collision though it has not been made public whether the police will be calling the footage in for evidence. Depending on how prosecutors view the footage RA could face a jail sentence for causing death by dangerous driving or even manslaughter. Given that I Nengah Merta Gunada was the head of his village, the case will likely be taken to the highest court if justice is sought for his death.
Collisions in Nusa Penida have been increasing in recent weeks. There have been calls from local communities directed to tourism taxi drivers to slow down on village roads. Communities spoke with local reporters late last month to share their experience of taxi drivers speeding through their homes. They confirmed that there had been dozens of collisions with taxi drivers colliding with local drivers, hitting pedestrians, livestock, and pets.
The Head of Nusa Penida sub-district, I Komang Widyasa Putra, confirmed that action was being taken to address the issue. He said that he and his teams had called the tourism driver association in for talks to see how best to move forward. The Regent of Klungkung, I Nyoman Suwirta, also confirmed reports that the problem is being taken seriously from a local government level.
Putra told reporters, ‘We, the leadership [team], hold meetings every quarter. We will make this issue one of the [talking points]…Furthermore, I will coordinate with related parties, in this case, the police. As an evaluation, it is necessary to control the skills of the driver as well’.
Since the public complaints about speeding drivers and the statement made by officials in Nusa Pendia, it seems that taxi drivers have heeded their warnings. No further complaints have been reported, nor any collisions caused by taxi drivers. While the incident concerning RA and the death of Bendesa Adat Kertabuana, I Nengah Merta Gunada, has not been attributed to either party speeding, the community has been shaken by the event and hope that all drivers on the Nusa Islands will drive with more caution moving forward.
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