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Jan 9, 2018

Teenager Knocked Down and Killed in Burrell Boom

Kendell Goff

A nineteen-year-old truck driver was knocked down and killed this morning in Burrell Boom Village. Police say Kendell Goff was heading to work when a pickup truck hit him as he crossed the street. His family, however, claims that eyewitnesses told them that Goff had already crossed the street when he was struck by the truck. Fifty-four-year-old Christopher Vernon, who was driving the vehicle, appeared in court today and was slapped with three charges including manslaughter by negligence. He was offered bail of four thousand dollars plus one surety of the same amount. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was in Burrell Boom today and tells us more about the accident.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Kendell “Tait” Goff was knocked down and killed in front of the Castleton Racetrack in Burrell Boom. Around five-thirty Goff got off a bus here and was heading to work when he was knocked down by a pickup truck travelling in the opposite direction driven by fifty-four-year old Christopher Vernon. The police report says that Goff was crossing the road when he was knocked down, but according to the family, reports are that he was hit while already off the road. His father says his death could have been prevented, had Vernon been more careful.

 

Evan Goff

Evan Goff, Father of Deceased

“According to eyewitnesses who were on the bushe already crossed the street. So, the vehicle probably hit him off the shoulder of the road, because based on the measurement that I saw, it is off the road like by ina somebody driveway.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“That vehicle that knocked him down, did you hear if that vehicle was speeding, overtaking, anything like that?”

 

Evan Goff

“Let me get it clear to you, maybe a lot of people don’t know, but the guy who was driving that vehicle, he drives very hard; even people who live in the same village that he lives in, complain about him. I mean, he is my friend and I have nothing against him.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you know the driver?”

 

Evan Goff

“Yes. Accidents do happen, but I think he probably could have avoided it. If he was doing the right thing he could have avoided it.”

 

Goff is a truck-driver in the family business for about two years now and he parks his dumptruck here across from the racetrack in Raymond Tillett’s yard. He was heading here to start the day’s workto transfer clay from Boom Road to this lot in Ladyville. Tillett, a friend and fellow trucker, arrived on the scene shortly after he heard the loud crash just outside his house.

 

Raymond Tillett

Raymond Tillett, Friend/Fellow Trucker

“I was inside my house when I heard the big bangand it sounded like two vehicles collided and my neighbor came over and told me about it and asked me to call his brother. When I went over there, I saw the man laying down and at that time it looked like he was about gone; like he had passed away already.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“He comes every day on that bus to here to pick up the truck?”

 

Raymond Tillett

“Yes. Usually on that bus or the six o’clock bus. He usually comes pretty early. We are all truck drivers, so he parks here instead of driving all the way back to Double Head and all the work starts right here in Boom. So, he just parks here and take the bus home.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, he comes here every morning and the evening he takes the bus home?”

 

Raymond Tillett

“Yes. He takes the bus home, again, right.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You know where he was heading to go this morning?”

 

Raymond Tillett

“Well, they have a little run right there on Boom Road to Ladyville and so that is what he was coming to do.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“He was picking up material; transferring material?”

 

Raymond Tillett

“Yes, transferring clay to right across from Lowe’s filling up the lot there and so he usually tries to get there to be the first, second or third truck, that way you get a productive day.”

 

Evan Goff says that this morning he was going to give his son a ride to work – but he decided to take the bus. Little did he know that this morning would be the last time he’d see his youngest child alive.

 

Evan Goff

“I turn back three times and asked him if he wanted a ride and the last one he tell me he was gonna ride the bus and I tell him let’s go. I left about fifty yards from here and wait thinking he would make up his mind and go but he didn’t go and I left. I got to Belize City and about ten minutes after I got to Belize City I got the phone call.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You didn’t know that this morning would’ve been the last time you would see your son alive?”

 

Evan Goff

“Right. That is perfectly right. It was the last time I saw my son alive and the last time I saw him was when the police put him in the vehicle.”

 

The nineteen-year-old truck driver is described as a dedicated member of the Church; very easy going and friendly. As a young driver, he was committed to his work.

 

Christopher Vernon

Raymond Tillett

“He was energetic and he loved his job. One thing was that he couldn’t get trucks off his mind. He lives, breath and sleep trucks; everything is about truck, truck, truck; especially Caterpillar and so he was all about trucks. You see the time he gets in here; he gets off the bus at 5:30 in the morning and I don’t know too many truck drivers that get up that early in the morning and he is usually in here before anybody else even leave. I have a few other guys that park here also and he is usually the first one in – the first to come in the morning and about the last one to leave at night or around there.”

 

Police have since arrested and charged fifty-five-year-old Christopher Vernon with manslaughter by negligence; cause of death by careless conduct; driving with due care and attention for Kendell’s death. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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