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Nov 21, 2017

Hummingbird Deadly; Trio Killed near 1-Lane Bridge Sunday Afternoon

Four men died in two separate road traffic accidents at the same location. We start with the most recent accident that happened on the Hummingbird Highway that claimed the lives of two members of one family and their friend. Harold Smith, Alonzo Frazer and Marlon Flowers were in Dangriga for the nineteenth celebrations and they were on their way back to Burrell Boom on Sunday afternoon when the driver lost control of the vehicle and landed in a river and all three men died. The cause of the accident is not known but the family believes that the badly deteriorated road and a narrow one-lane bridge without rails where the fatal crash happened may have contributed to the accident. Andrea Polanco has more on this latest deadly car accident.

 

Barbara Nightingale, Mother of Deceased

“I had received a call from my brother Harold at one-eleven exactly on my phone and was talking with him, my brother, and the last thing they said, “I love you. I love you” both of them.”

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

And those would be the last words Barbara Nightingale would hear from her brother and son before they crashed in a vehicle and died unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon around two.  Barbara’s brother thirty-seven-year-old Harold Albert Smith and her son thirty-seven-year-old Keith Alonzo Frazer and their friend Marlon Flowers were in Dangriga for the Yurumein and they were heading back to Burrell Boom when they all lost their lives here at this one lane bridge between miles thirty-one and thirty-two at St Margaret Village on the Hummingbird Highway. Nightingale recalls the last phone conversation she had with her son before the tragic accident.

 

Barbara Nightingale

Barbara Nightingale

“He said ‘mommy I am going to Boom with Harold and then I will come there Tuesday or Wednesday and I will be with you for a few days. I said to him, but your son is here and he is waiting for you. He said, ‘I know, mommy. I know it. But I will be there for Tuesday or Wednesday’ and that was the last call after he said ‘Mommy, I love you,’ that was the last call I heard.”

 

Smith was behind the wheel heading in the direction of Belmopan when he reportedly lost control of the car, which caused it to flip and land with the four wheels up in the air on the riverbank. Residents of the area and motorists passing by rushed to help the accident victims.  After several tries, they were able to put the crashed vehicle back on its four wheels. Smith was already dead in the driver’s seat; and Fraser was dead by the time he was pulled out of the wreckage. Flowers was rushed to the hospital, but he also died. It is an unimaginable loss for Barbara – losing two of her family members at once.

 

Keith Frazer & Harold Smith

Barbara Nightingale

“My brother – I think he was killed instantly; my son was probably killed instantly. And the next one. I heard it over the news.  I told my husband, ‘Oh mien, these people went to enjoy themselves for the nineteenth and never made it back home. You feel a certain way because somebody loses their life or some people losing their lives and then I got a call.   I started screaming and my husband came and he asked me what is it. I told him ‘Lonzo and Harold dead. And he couldn’t believe it. I just threw myself on the ground and I can’t even explain the emotions that hit me. It was horrible. And I was thinking, two in one blow?”

 

Marlon Flowers

Harold was better known as “pastry man” in Burrell Boom where he lived. He’s the father of three children who live in the U.S. Keith, who spends his time between the U.S. and Belize, dabbled in different work and was a father of two. The uncle and nephew had a close relationship – they grew up together; and on Sunday, they died together.

 

Barbara Nightingale

“The two of them have been inseparable from birth and then to have both of them call me at the same time talking to them and then having them both go out together – they are only five weeks apart.  If you’d seen them – I would tell people they were like these magnetic dolls and you put them together like this. They both ran to each other with their hands out and hug. But this now (crying).”

 

Jack Nightingale

Jack Nightingale, Father of Deceased

“They are not separated. They are together. They went together.”

 

The third victim of the accident is Marlon Flowers was a barber here at Slip and Slide Barbershop. A black bow hangs on the shop where “Smurf” as he is better known would have been working today. He was at work on Saturday – but today his workstation sits empty – and the message “R.I.P Smurf “ on a mirror tells customers that the barber has passed on. And while Smith, Frazer and Flowers are dead – not much is known about what caused the deadly accident. Smith and Frazer’s family say that they don’t believe alcohol was a factor – but that the condition of the road and bridge may have contributed to the accident.

 

Jack Nightingale

“Over the last year, that bridge has deteriorated and you have seen where crashed have occurred and the barriers have been slowly beaten back so that now the barriers have fallen off the bridge and it is a most unfortunate design and it attracts drivers because it is like something where you get that “whoopee” experience. And the thing is that everybody knows it there and so they do it. But the thing is nobody is paying attention to the dangerousness of that bridge. It is dangerous. There was potholes in front of it, loose gravel; and the surface, apparently, is also slick at this time.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Any speeding or drinking or any of that involved – do you know?”

 

Barbara Nightingale

“I don’t know if drinking, but when an autopsy is done then we will know for sure. But a young man who was with them told us that they were not drinking.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You would say that the condition of the road and the bridge played a part in the accident?”

 

Barbara Nightingale

“I think so, I think so…mhmm. I would hope that something is done because even the villagers are asking. They have their kids that pass that road on the bus. I travel that road all the time to PG and I see how the drivers go on that bridge. But it is dangerous and I think the public would be more aware and maybe putting speed bumps on either sides to slow people down. We don’t needs anymore deaths there, we don’t, really.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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