Garbage Truck Driver Sentenced to 1 Year and 7 Months in Prison for Death of 7-Y-O Boy

Following his guilty plea for manslaughter in November 2022, Alten Brooks has been sentenced to serve one year and seven months in prison for the death of seven-year-old Benjamin Bair.

Brooks was the driver of the unmanned garbage truck that crashed into a taxi, which crushed Bair while he was at school in 2019. Brooks was sentenced on Monday in the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston by Justice Leighton Pusey.

In a prior plea agreement, Brook’s solicitor and the prosecution recommended a non-custodial sentence for him, which, if granted, would have seen Brooks serve no prison time. Justice Pusey rejected this recommendation, sentencing him to one year and seven months imprisonment after taking into account the five months Brooks had already served while in custody.

Brooks was hired by Bair’s school, Clan Carthy Primary, to clear garbage. According to reports, on Monday, October 28, 2019, Brooks and two sidemen went to the school. Brooks was instructed by the sidemen to operate the compactor, which ran on the throttle of the truck.

Before exiting the garbage truck, Brooks had used a stick to press down on the accelerator pedal of the vehicle. While he was outside, the truck drove off, crashing into a parked taxi on the school compound. Blair was waiting to be picked up from school when the taxi overturned on him, killing him on the scene.

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After initially fleeing with the two men who were with him, Brooks turned himself over to the authorities and told officers, “mi nuh waan go jail, cyaa manage it.” He later told the police that the vehicle needed to be bridged to start and was not “roadworthy.” An official examination of the truck later confirmed that this was true.