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Sep 3, 2014

Seven Months Later, Coastguard Officer Charged for Manslaughter By Negligence

Whain Williams

In the early hours of the morning of January thirty-first, a collision between two boats ended the life of twenty-year old Benjamin Jerome Gentle Junior, a former Gwen Liz student. Gentle was being ferried from Crooked Tree to the Phillip Goldson Highway when he was killed; eight others were seriously injured but survived.  It’s been seven months since the death of the young Crooked Tree resident and today a single charge of manslaughter by negligence was levied against a Junior Coast Guard Officer. Forty-nine-year-old Whain Williams spent a day in lock down and was arraigned before Magistrate Herbert Panton today.  Allegations are that Williams caused Gentle’s death since he was piloting a Colombian boat “C-G.O.-three” when the vessel collided with the boat Gentle was travelling in.  Magistrate Panton offered him bail in the sum of two thousand dollars but before that, he queried why Williams was in court since he was carrying out his duties when the terrible accident happened. On the morning of the boating collision, Gentle Junior and others boarded the vessel “Mi Sarita” in Crooked Tree. It subsequently collided with C-G.O.-three and Gentle Junior died as a result. The incident occurred in the Crooked Tree Lagoon when residents were being shuttled out of the village due to flooding the village was experiencing.

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2 Responses for “Seven Months Later, Coastguard Officer Charged for Manslaughter By Negligence”

  1. dats just gud says:

    Magistrate Panton offered him bail in the sum of two thousand dollars but before that, he queried why Williams was in court since he was carrying out his duties……………….

    The Answer:

    It is a case of you are dammed if you do and you are still dammed if you don’t…..unfortunately a person died…….. so someone has to pay and you cannot be driving the boat like you are the Captain of Miami Vice……….

  2. Elgin Martinez says:

    Why don’t GOB provide some form of Pro Bono service for service members. It’s a shame that these young men are out there risking their lives to defend the Country and yet can’t be afforded some form of Legal assistance by the Attorneys who are trained with Belizean Tax-Dollars.

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