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Mar 31, 2003

Weekend traffic accidents claim 3 lives

This weekend the nation’s highways proved deadly for three Belizeans in separate traffic accidents. Just after five on Friday, sixty-one year old Apolinar Chen was knocked off his bicycle by a Toyota pickup as he was riding on the San Antonio-Punta Gorda road. According to the driver, twenty-six year old Antonio Tush, the cyclist suddenly swerved in front of the truck and a collision was unavoidable. Chen’s body was transported to the Punta Gorda town hospital where authorities pronounced him dead on arrival. At news time no charges had been brought against Tush.

Two hours later, Belmopan police were at the scene of another fatal traffic accident, this time in Camalote Village. According to Spanish Lookout businessman Adrian Dueck, he was heading west towards San Ignacio towing a trailer and had slowed down to cross a speed bump. But seconds later, Dueck heard a loud noise and felt something hit his vehicle. When he got out to check, he found that a white truck had crashed into his trailer. The two men inside the truck, Godwin Leslie of Camalote Village, and William Reyes of Teakettle, suffered head and body injuries. Both men were rushed to the Belmopan Hospital for treatment, but Leslie was pronounced dead on arrival. Tonight, News 5 understands that Reyes has been treated and released.

About that same time in Corozal, a young man lay dying on the Northern Highway, the victim of a hit and run accident. According to police, just after seven on Friday night, they responded to reports of a traffic incident between miles seventy-seven and seventy-eight. The officers transported the victim to the Corozal Town Hospital, but there was nothing doctors could do. The body was later identified as that of twenty-year-old Kevin Tzul of San Joaquin Village. A post-mortem examination revealed that Tzul died as a result of hypovolemic shock due to a lacerated liver. Anyone with information on this accident is asked to please contact the nearest police station.

Tonight, the Police Department mourns the passing of one of their former colleagues. Reports are that former Superintendent of Police, forty-seven year old Jesus Matu, who retired from the department last year as Commandant of the Police Training Academy, died on Thursday night as a result of injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Police found Matu’s pickup truck off the Hummingbird Highway between miles twenty-six and twenty-seven on Thursday night, his body a short distance away. Matu had a cut wound to the top of the head and tire marks to his body. A post-mortem examination revealed Matu died as a result of traumatic shock due to a fractured skull, ribs and spine. Police speculate that Matu lost control of his truck and jumped out, but was run over by his own vehicle.

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