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Winnipeg man who was stuck in Cuba has warning for travellers
Ted Barnett comes home after waiting 7 weeks for investigation into
moped crash to finish
CBC News Posted: Mar 03, 2014 5:41 PM CT Last Updated: Mar 03, 2014 8:26
PM CT

A Winnipeg man who was stuck in Cuba for seven weeks following a scooter
crash is warning others not to rent any kind of vehicle while travelling
in other countries.

Ted Barnett, 60, said his latest experience in Varadero, Cuba,
demonstrates that those who rent vehicles abroad could end up at the
mercy of local authorities if anything happens.

“I’ve rented a moped before. I’ve had no problems. This time, it was a
little bit different,” said Barnett, who returned to Winnipeg over the
weekend.

Barnett said he has been to Varadero three times before going back on
Jan. 11 for what was supposed to be a week-long stay.

But five days into his trip, he was driving a rented scooter when he
lost control of the vehicle and struck a female pedestrian, breaking the
woman’s leg as a result.

“It’s not in my nature to go out and hurt people. It was an , a
simple accident,” he said.

No charges laid

It took Cuban officials weeks to finish their investigation, while
Barnett faced a growing bill at the resort he had booked.

In the end, no charges were laid and Barnett was allowed to return to
.

Traffic accidents are a frequent cause of arrest and detention of
Canadians in Cuba, according to the federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

The department warns that it could take between five months to a year
for a case to go to trial.

It’s for that kind of reason that CAA Manitoba advises travellers not to
rent mopeds abroad.

“Depending on where you rent from, you’re going to small rental
companies. You’re signing different contracts that you don’t know what
you’re responsible for or what you’re at risk for,” said Kim Paulicelli,
CAA Manitoba’s manager of services.

Paulicelli said travellers are better off taking a trip with a tour
operator than taking a chance alone with a rented vehicle.

Luckily for Barnett, the woman who was hit by the scooter is expected to
make a full recovery. She even invited him over for coffee when she was
released from , he added.

Source: Winnipeg man who was stuck in Cuba has warning for travellers –
Manitoba – CBC News –
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-man-who-was-stuck-in-cuba-has-warning-for-travellers-1.2558561

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