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Friday, May 26 2017 @ 09:08 AM EDT

Strange Case Involving Canal Pilot Creates More Questions Than Answers

Panama News By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - The other day I learned from friends that career Panama Canal Pilot David Jeffery Sherman has been laying unconscious in the intensive care unit of the Santo Tomas since last Saturday. Everyone I spoke to had a different version of events and there were some pretty wild speculation going on as to what might have happened. What is known is that David went out with friends to Lums in the former canal zone. He drove his truck there and was last seen leaving Lums with a friend at about midnight on Thursday evening, 14 June 2007. He was supposed to report to work on Friday morning but he didn't either show up or call in sick, which was considered to be highly unusual by the people that know him. Calls to his house and cell phones went unanswered. Then, people who were working around the boat sheds in Diablo Heights discovered David laying face-down and unconscious at about 2:00 pm on Saturday afternoon, 16 June 2007. He had deep cuts on his face, on the point of his chin and under his right eye, and he was out cold. Friends called the police and fire department. (more)

Up For A Visit: I went to the Santo Tomas hospital this afternoon to see how David was doing. Dr. Jorge M Trujillo who is attending David in the ICU at Santo Tomas said he is unconscious but not under heavy sedation. They did a CAT scan which did not show any evidence of structural damage to the brain. Also, they have not been able to find any broken bones. David has two deep lacerations on his face and was hit on the head hard enough to knock him out, and he basically remains knocked out now. He is 63 years old and is breathing with the assistance of a breathing tube (intubation). Because of the tube he can't talk. He has responded to the presence of visiting friends and family members. He is moving his hands and fingers.

What The Hell Happened? No one knows for sure. People working around the Diablo boat sheds found David face down at about 2:00 pm on Saturday, 16 June 2007. Fire department ambulance 144 transported David to Santo Tomas, arriving at 15:22 pm. So, the questions remain - What happened? How did he get there? Has he been laying there since Thursday night? What happened to his face? Did someone hit him or did he fall? When he was found he had his wallet, keys, and cell phones. His car was parked at Lums, so he managed to get back to Diablo somehow, either in a cab or someone else dropped him off. His house was locked up and nothing was missing, and the keys to his house were in his pocket. Why didn't he go inside? Maybe he got hit on the head and was disoriented? Again, no one knows.

Someone Reported He Had Died: This morning PTJ investigators showed up at David's home in Diablo because someone had reported that he had died in the hospital. In fact he is still alive. I visited him today. But when he arrived at the hospital he was being transported by the fire department, and since no one knows what happened and David can't talk, no police report was filed and no investigation was started.


A friend and neighbor points to where they found David on Saturday afternoon.


This blood-stained handkerchief was found on the ground between David's home and where he was found on the ground.


The handkerchief was seen on this palm tree on Saturday, after firemen had taken David to the hospital. Originally it was up on the tree but later fell to the ground due to rain. Blood stains could be seen on the handkerchief and it was recovered as potential evidence by investigators.

Hoping For A Quick Recovery: David's family and friends are hoping he will recover consciousness quickly so he can have the breathing tube removed. They want to know if he will be able to tell them what happened. Until then a lot of questions will remain unanswered.

Copyright 2007 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. As usual, go ahead and use whatever you want as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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