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Jan 4, 2016

Cycling Honcho Perry Gibson Involved in Fatal Hit and Run Near Carmelita

Lea Crawford & Adrian Wade

It was a bloody weekend on Belize’s highways. There were four separate accidents, three on the Phillip Goldson Highway and one on the George Price Highway, leaving multiple persons injured and four dead. The first terrible accident happened on Saturday night between mile forty-nine and fifty, on the outskirts of Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. Twenty-seven year old Lea Crawford and twenty-two year old Adrian Wade were on the side of the road when they were hit by a speeding vehicle being driven by businessman and cycling enthusiast Perry Gibson. They both succumbed to the massive injuries caused by impact. Mike Rudon headed north today and has that story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Teacher Lea Crawford and her boyfriend Adrian Wade were on this stretch of road just outside Carmelita at around eight Saturday night. The couple was heading to a wedding in the nearby community, allegedly riding double on a bicycle when unspeakable tragedy struck in the form of a speeding SUV.

 

Selvyn Tillett

Supt. Selvyn Tillett, O.C., Orange Walk Police Formation

“A black in colour 2013 Toyota Four-runner being driven at the time by one Perry Francis Gibson, a Belizean businessman, was heading from the direction of Orange Walk Town to Belize City when he collided with the two persons, knocking them down and causing their deaths. The vehicle sped off in the direction of Carmelita Village where about half mile away near the Carmelita Supermarket the vehicle experienced a malfunction and came to a stop at the right hand side of the road where the Police detained the driver.”

 

Caroline Crawford was on her small porch in front of her home cooling off. She saw Lea Crawford and Andrew Wade coming down the road. And she saw the vehicle hit them.

 

Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford, Eyewitness

“When I see wah male and a female deh come and I see wah vehicle just run right off ah di road and gawn pon di side and knock dem right down and they fly up inna di air. Afta dat when they fly inna di air the vehicle just run right ova they and bring they wah certain distance. And then the vehicle just gawn right off towards Carmelita Village.”

 

A shocked Crawford would run to help, not aware that the woman bleeding on the ground was her cousin Lea.

 

Caroline Crawford

“When I gawn out deh so I mi wah dead but I just protect them because the next vehicle weh midi come behind just mi wah mash up di bwoy. Me and my bredda we deh try stop the vehicle. we stop all di vehicle pon di road fu protect them because he mi deh right middle ah di road. The gial she mi deh pon di side of the road. My cousin when I gawn check fu she pulse she mi done dead already but the bwoy mi still living. He mi live like at least forty-five minutes until the ambulance come. By the time he reach hospital they seh he mi dead.”

 

The death of the couple has shocked the small community. Crawford was a teacher at the Carmelita Government School, and today her colleagues were reeling from the unexpected loss of the vibrant young woman.

 

Dario Vasquez

Dario Vasquez, Vice-Principal, Carmelita Government School

“I feel that we have lost a great teacher, a promising teacher. She had just finished internship with us. She was working part-time at the school, and she is the type of teacher you want to have on your staff – a very hard working teacher, very creative, very innovative, dedicated to the teaching profession.”

 

Vasquez says that it’s difficult for the pre-school students to understand why they won’t be seeing teacher Lea around anymore.

 

Dario Vasquez

“We have capable teachers at the pre-school level who will give counselling to the students, work with the students and influence them to realize that it is part of life. It is nothing pleasant to have a loss of this type, especially they type of person she was, always smiling. I don’t recall seeing her without a smile on her face, and that is something that I know the students will miss a lot.”

 

Perry Gibson

There are reports that Gibson, the driver of the SUV, was beaten by villagers after fleeing the scene. His radiator had burst from the impact and he couldn’t get away. Police would not verify that report from very reliable sources. The businessman was arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court today.

 

Supt. Selvyn Tillett

“Police arrested and charged Perry Francis Gibson with the following offences – two counts of Manslaughter by Negligence, Two Counts of Causing Death by Careless Conduct, Failing to Stop and Render Aid, Refusing to Produce Blood and Urine Sample and Driving Without Due Care and Attention.”

 

Gibson was granted bail of twenty-thousand dollars. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

News Five has received conflicting reports on the accident. Eyewitnesses tell us that Gibson was with one other person in the vehicle, but police say that as far as they know, he was alone when apprehended. Gibson is a popular cycling enthusiast and Coach of the Benny’s Megabytes Cycling Team.

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4 Responses for “Cycling Honcho Perry Gibson Involved in Fatal Hit and Run Near Carmelita”

  1. TIMBER says:

    So, he refused to give a blood and urine sample, and we all know exactly why. And, he bail was just $20,000. How much is a life worth in Belize when it’s obvious he was drinking? Let’s see which one of you police officers will take the bribe to make the case drag through court and suddenly case files disappear? Which one of you ambulance chasing attorneys will take his ill-gotten money and take his case? The people in Carmelita should have had let him meet his “Maker.” We are getting to a point in Belize where people will take justice in their hands . Belize is out of hand. I remember when I used to live in New Orleans going to school and my mother visited me, her words to me, ” Son, get out of this city, before God destroys it.” She was prophetic, look what Katrina did to that city. God spoke. Belize, be careful. The handwriting is on the wall and we aren’t heeding nor praying.

  2. Wow says:

    Our justice system is really terrible so this man gets bail of $20K obviously because he has money and will be able to meet it despite all the evidence surrounding this great misfortune at the scene and there is an eye witness too…Sad reality we are living in today I just hope the two souls RIP ….

  3. CEO says:

    To hit human beings with such force to cause that much front end damage is indicative of the speed he was traveling! No rocket science!

    Failure to submit to blood and urine sample should be and automatic suspension of his driving privileges and immediate incarceration and if bail is allowed the amount should be at least 100 thousand!

  4. Joe says:

    Timber, I agree with you. He pays his measly 20000 dollars and he’s able to walk away from foolishly ending two lives. Then he pays more under the table and the case mysteriously vanishes – heard of o more, closed. That’s Belize for you – corrupt and out of order. The people do need to start taking justice in their own hands.

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