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Oct 8, 2018

Cowo Sisters Perish in Road Traffic Accident in Succotz; Driver Charged

Cindy & Jarinet Cowo

Also in the west, two sisters perished in a horrible accident on Saturday morning. Cindy and Jarinet Cowo were travelling in the vehicle of fifty-three-year-old Belmopan contractor Carlos Martinez heading to San Jose Succotz Village when they met their death. Martinez picked up the sisters from their house and went partying in Benque Viejo.  He was returning to Succotz when he lost control of his Toyota vehicle, careened off the George Price Highway between miles seventy-one and seventy-two and plunged into the Mopan River. He managed to get out of the SUV, but the siblings were trapped inside and drowned. It is believed that alcohol was a factor in the accident. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

These two tombs adjacent to each other at the Succotz Cemetery in the west are where siblings, twenty-six-year-old Cindy and sixteen-year-old Jarinet Cowo, will be laid to rest following their untimely deaths on Saturday morning. The sisters were travelling inside an SUV driven by fifty-three-year-old Carlos Martinez who lost control of the vehicle that careened off the George Price Highway and into the Mopan River. Hours after, when the vehicle was retrieved, the siblings were found in the luggage or cargo area of the vehicle.

 

Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“It was reported to them by one Carlos Martinez that when he was driving his Toyota Rav Four from Benque Viejo east bound, he lost control of his vehicle sometime around four a.m. and ran into the river. At the time he was accompanied by Jarinet Cowo and Cindy Cowo; Jarinet is sixteen years and Cindy is twenty-six-year-old. He was the only one, according to him, who managed to break the driver’s window and swam to safety. As a result the vehicle was removed from the river and the bodies of the females were seen motionless.”

 

Martinez reported to police that he broke the driver’s side window to escape from the submerging vehicle. He swam to the bank of the river before he became unconscious. He woke up about three hours later. It wasn’t until around eight that morning that the family received the horrific news.

 

Maciel Cowo

Maciel Cowo, Sister of Deceased [Translated]

“Every Sunday when she came from work, he would bring her and they would go out to eat because he asked for permission. And Jarinet would go with them to buy. The Friday when they came, they left and took my niece. Around twelve-thirty they brought her back and went out again. Around twelve-thirty a.m. my mom spoke with them and asked them to bring Jarinet. They said they were going to bring her. From there we went to bed and around five a.m. my dad got up and realized that they were not there. My mom called over and over again and he never responded. And about seven o’clock, he came to say…(crying).  He came in a taxi and my mom ran to him and asked where are her daughters? And he said that he fell asleep and when he woke up, the car was in the river.”

 

It is believed that the trio had been partying in Benque Viejo and were on their way to the Cowo residence in Succotz when the accident occurred. Maciel Cowo says that the family does not understand how Martinez escaped unhurt.

 

Maciel Cowo [Translated]

“He returned and said another story. That he doesn’t know how the car was in the vehicle. That when he woke up, he got out. I don’t know how he got out without injury, without nothing? How is it possible that where he was driving was in bad condition and he is still alive and they are not? That is what we don’t understand.”

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“The initial investigation has revealed that sometime after eleven p.m. on Friday night he visited the Cowo’s residence in San Jose Succotz where he stayed for a while before leaving for Benque Viejo along with both females. And according to him, he left Benque Viejo sometime after four a.m. travelling eastbound when he lost control of the vehicle and ran into the river. If he is eastbound, then the river would be on his left hand side which would be the opposite side of the road.”

 

Carlos Martinez

Assistant Commissioner of Police Joseph Myvett says Martinez has since been charged.

 

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Police investigations have since led to the arrest of Carlos Martinez for driving a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit and driving without due care and attention at this point. The post-mortem examination is currently ongoing at this time which most likely will result in further charges as soon as those are finished.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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