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Jul 30, 2015

New River Claims Life of OW Businessman

Leonel Guerra

An early morning accident on a stretch of road just outside Orange Walk Town has claimed the life of businessman, Leonel Guerra. The young man was travelling home at around three this morning when his vehicle rammed through the guardrail of the Tower Hill Bridge near the toll booth and plummeted into the New River. Mike Rudon was in Orange Walk this morning and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

At around three this morning, thirty-five year old father of three Leonel Guerra was driving back to Orange Walk. He had driven past the toll booth at around six that evening, headed to Belize City to celebrate his birthday. No one can be sure what happened, but as he passed the toll booth heading to Orange Walk his black Dodge Ram pickup slammed into the guardrail of the bridge, ran over this cement ledge and plunged almost thirty-feet into the shallow water below, upside down.


First responders arrived on the scene shortly after and divers went to the rescue, but they told us that it was too late for Guerra, who appeared to have been knocked unconscious by the impact and drowned.


Errol Cadle

Errol Cadle, Assisted in Retrieving Vehicle

“Approximately about 5:30 this morning, one of my guides called me and told me they would need assistance with a boat because a vehicle went over the bridge. I just got up and see how much I could assist people. When I came down here, I noticed that right under the bridge over that side, there was a pickup overturned and they were taking out the body at that moment. One of my guys was taking out the body so I decided that they will need a big boat to turn the vehicle over because it was upside down. So I brought one of my big boats, we hooked it up and turned it over so that we could have a truck to take it out.”


Guerra’s body was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The vehicle was turned over with the help of the boat and then pulled out of the water, badly damaged by the impact on the bridge and also by the fall into the New River.


Errol Cadle

“Well you could see that the top was all mashed in, the back glass was broken, the front rim was broken and the lights were still on.”


Mike Rudon

“From what you’ve been able to hear, what happened? Did the person lose control? Have you heard anything about what happened?”


Errol Cadle

“Well when I came here the police were here already so I don’t want to speculate and say what happened. Some say it was the guy’s birthday and probably he was partying, but it is not for me to say. It is for the police to determine.”


At this time police are awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination and a toxicology report to determine the cause of death. They did confirm to us today that there were no apparent signs of injury on the body, which supports and assumption that Guerra drowned. Mike Rudon for News Five.


Friends of Guerra told us that the businessman who operates Guerra’s Construction had just purchased the black pickup a few days ago.

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