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Jun 30, 2014

Cyclist Byron Pope hospitalized after traffic mishap

At the top of the newscast, we told you about three traffic accidents, but there is one more to report. A near-fatal collision on Saturday morning, involving well-known Belizean cyclist Byron Pope, has resulted in the hospitalization of the young athlete after sustaining multiple physical injuries.  Pope, who is a member of the Benny’s Megabytes team, was participating in the National Time Trial Championship, along with several other riders when he crashed into the back of a delivery truck on the Hattieville/Boom Road.  Although this isn’t the first time a cyclist has been badly injured while training or competing on the highway, Pope’s brush with death underscores the need for motorists to exercise extreme caution when traversing the stretch during an official event.  This afternoon, News Five spoke with the wounded racer who recounted the frightening experience from his bedside at the Belize Medical Associates.

 

Byron Pope, Cyclist, Benny’s Megabytes

“I was on the time trial course through the Boom/Hattieville Road when upon reaching half mile from the prison I saw a white box truck on the road.  So I saw the truck in moving motion and for a couple seconds after I just…banged into the truck.  But I heard my service truck blowing, so I think the driver in the box truck he figured that the vehicle behind me was blowing that he was going to over take him but the driver didn’t see me in his rearview mirror or what because I‘m just a small structure on the road.  When I noticed that my service person was blowing too much I lifted my head and when I lift up my head the truck was already there, right in front of me, I couldn’t do anything, straight head first.”

 

Isani Cayetano

Byron Pope

“What are the extent of your injuries?”

 

Byron Pope

“I have two cracked vertebrae in my back.  I have twenty-five stitches in one of my legs.  I’m in severe pain mein, I can’t move and thing like that right now, I can’t walk.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What are the doctors saying in terms of the injuries you’ve received and the prognosis for recovery?”

 

Byron Pope

“Well they say I can recover from it, you know, but it’ll just take time and rest to heal properly.  But they are giving me like six weeks to three months off, you know, without any stress or anything like that on the body.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“The sport of cycling has become rather dangerous when you look at the traffic safety and the regulations that either should be abided by the cyclists as well as the other motorists on the highway.  Could this have been prevented, in your opinion?”

 

Byron Pope

“Yes, well I think it could have been prevented because I could recall everything because I didn’t go unconscious.  One official just passed, passed me like half a mile before and he said he cleared the truck out of the way that notified him that the race is coming.  It could have been worse because it was only me, it’s a time trial, it could have been a pack.  Had it been a pack there could have been more riders.  So I really find it strange that that big truck couldn’t have just given a little way, just ten or five seconds and I would have passed it or so and that could have been avoided.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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