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Jan 29, 2018

The Tragic Loss of Sosphie Reyes in Teakettle

Sosphie Reyes

A two-year-old girl is dead after a relative driving a vehicle accidentally knocked her down on Saturday afternoon. Thirty-year-old Elba Cruz was driving up the street to another relative’s home in Teakettle Village, Cayo District to get change for the girl’s father, Clifford Reyes. She apparently did not see Sosphie Reyes crossing the street to meet her father when she knocked her down. The child was pronounced dead at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan that evening, marring a planned family celebration the next day. News Five’s Aaron Humes spoke to family members of Sosphie in both Teakettle and Belize City and has this report.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Two-year old Sosphie Reyes was an acknowledged “daddy’s girl” – the apple of Clifford Reyes’s eye.

 

Clifford Reyes

Clifford Reyes, Sosphie’s Father

“Ih really, really rough right now; telling you the truth. Ih really rough. She more than sweet to me; more than sweet.”

 

Shamira Smith, Sosphie’s Aunt

“She likes to dress up; she likes lipstick, she acts like she’s a woman, yes. She likes to dress up; that’s what she loves – dress up and put on lipstick. So her mom went to buy a dress for her.”

 

That dress is for her funeral, expected later this week. She had been playing with her cousins under the family house. Her father was talking to Elba Cruz about a vehicle oil purchase. Other family members were busy preparing for a family celebration on Sunday. Cruz was about to drive off in her Ford Escape SUV to get some change for a fifty-dollar bill, but no one saw little Sosphie crossing the street to meet her father. It proved to be a fatal mistake.

 

Shamira Smith

“When they hear a cycle came blowing, blowing, the cycle man said, ‘You killed a baby girl!’ And then she came out of the vehicle, and when my brother-in-law spin ‘round he saw the baby lying flat on the ground and she stopped. If not it would have been a worse accident because the wheel would have run over her.  It was a split of a second because the three babies, they were playing behind this vehicle right here (gestures) but they didn’t see, because the big school bus was parked right here they didn’t see when the baby crossed the road. So her dad didn’t see and Elba never saw the baby.”

 

Shamira Smith

Aaron Humes

“You’re saying the baby followed them out to the road but they didn’t see her?”

 

Shamira Smith

“They didn’t see her, because she’s very fast. She went behind her dad because she sticks on to her dad. So when she walked in front of the vehicle, she almost made it across, because it was right at the driver side there where it hit her.”

 

An emotional Clifford Reyes said he saw from almost the moment he picked Sosphie up that she was in a bad way. When the final news of her passing came about an hour later, he asked for one final private moment.

 

Clifford Reyes

“I run deh and I pick up my daughter and when I look – blood through ih nose, blood through ih mouth, blood through ih ears. And I started to cry and I halla, “Sosphie, Sosphie, Sosphie! Da daddy, baby!” And I shook her face and kissed her – nothing, nothing. All mi lee data do da sigh wah two times; that was it.  I done know di lee gial dead so before I gahn eena di room I went right to the door and asked, ‘Mi data dead noh true?’ and he said, yes, she passed away. I run back where my daughter was, on the bed where they had her and I hugged her and I kissed her. I took her two little hands and threw them around my neck and kissed her. I stayed with my daughter for half an hour.”

 

Both Smith and Reyes are adamant that this was an accident and a most unfortunate one.

 

Clifford Reyes

“I’m a driver; too, that could happen to me. Like I said ih noh mash ah with any of the tires or anything that she could feel something, because even if you climb rock stone you can feel that as an experienced driver. Ih noh get no tire mash or nothing; my daughter noh even get scratch up. Just that she got some bruises on her head; I saw that at the hospital when they pronounced her dead.”

 

Sosphie Reyes

Aaron Humes

“But the impact was enough?”

 

Clifford Reyes

“Yes, to kill her; but she never ran her over with the tires or nothing.”

 

Shamira Smith

“No one saw that it was going to happen, so it’s not…everybody is commenting that it’s negligence and she bought her license; it [doesn’t] go like that. It’s just an accident that happened and everybody is saddened for what happened but we can’t change it; it’s already happened and we have to accept it. She has to accept it; she has to live with it for the rest of her life. And my brother-in-law and the whole family have to live without a little girl that didn’t get to live life. But God knows best and God took her home. So we can’t question that man above.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Police have not yet announced any determination of charges in the incident.

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