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Aug 30, 2004

Accident on W. Hwy. kills one

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A traffic accident early this morning on the Western Highway has claimed the life of one person and left several others injured. According to police, a Mitsubishi pickup truck and an Isuzu Rodeo travelling in opposite directions collided head on, between miles thirty-one and thirty-two. Driver of the Rodeo, twenty-six year old Austin Castro of Belize City, told police that the wet and slippery condition of the pavement caused him to lose control of his vehicle. The resulting impact flung fifty one year old Margarito Martinez from the pan of the pickup. Martinez, a resident of Santa Martha Village, died en route to the Belmopan hospital. Four other occupants of the pickup, Nelson Guzman, Miguel Echevaria, Luis Ysaguirre and Marvin Fernandez also suffered injuries and are being treated at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, while Castro and a passenger in the other vehicle received only minor injuries. Castro has since been charged with six counts of wounding, two counts of negligent grievous harm, one count of manslaughter by negligence, one count of causing death by careless conduct and one count of driving without due care and attention. He appeared this afternoon in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court where he was offered bail of five thousand dollars. Castro is to reappear in court on November twenty-third. All the men riding in the pickup were employees of Cisco Construction.

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