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Feb 4, 2019

A Teacher is Knocked Down & Killed in the City

Marilena Mortis

A twenty-three-year-old teacher perished this morning in a horrible traffic accident near a well-known supermarket at the entrance of Belize City. The mother of two, Marilena Mortis left her mother’s house on Dolphin Drive, in the Buttonwood Bay area, and proceeded to the highway. Because there are no pedestrian crossings in the area, Mortis avoided walking all the way to any of the two roundabouts, and hopped over the barriers near the DK supermarket.  Instantly, she was hit by an incoming vehicle and crushed to death. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

A teacher was knocked down and killed this morning just before seven o’clock on the Philip Goldson Highway near DK Supermarket in Belize City. She lives in city with her two children and was visiting with her parents in Buttonwood Bay. Marilena Mortis jumped the recently installed barriers of the renovated highway, and was struck by a vehicle. The impact sent the twenty-three-year-old woman several feet away and to her death. Patrick “Faada” Henry says that he was one of the first responders; Mortis was crushed by the vehicle which came to a stop several yards away.

 

Patrick “Faada” Henry

Patrick “Faada” Henry, Resident

“I rushed out there cause I know a little CPR and thing and when I jumped over the pavement, I jumped to see like a family member to me, laying there on the pavement, crushed to death. When I say crushed to death, a living person should not receive those impact from vehicles. Her leg was broken, her head at the side was crushed, her bad was totally dug out. I remain there under shock for like five minutes and I tried to go down when we were calling 911.”

 

The paramedics and police responded shortly after the incident. After the scene was processed, the driver of the vehicle was taken into custody pending further investigation.

 

Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“The deceased was attempting to jump over the barrier and while she was doing so, they had two vehicles that were coming towards Belize City and she end up landing herself on top of one of the vehicles where she was hit and received several injuries to her body. The vehicle stopped at a distance, the driver came out and at this moment he is detained.”

 

The incident brings into sharp focus safety concerns for pedestrians along that stretch of road. Back in 2018, the highway was given a facelift and a barrier installed to create a fast and slow lane, but the nearest pedestrian crossing is either near the roundabout by Smart or to the other end by the Brodies/Scotia Bank Belama Branch. The area is residential; hundreds of families live on either side of the highway and there are major supermarkets and restaurants along the stretch. Despite this morning’s tragedy, we captured persons crowing the barriers and the highway to get to their vehicles or to catch a bus; including students, who expose themselves to life-threatening risks.

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“It’s a concern and the barriers were placed for a reason and if you see that one of them—we call it the slower lane than the other one. She is not the first person that has jumped that barrier. There are several persons even though they know the risk that they are running, they still go ahead and jump it whilst traffic is coming. We would advise persons to be careful and desist from jumping the barriers because sometimes they are not paying attention and they do not know what is coming in front of them. It’s a matter that the investigator is filing and if anybody is to be charged; that will happen.”

 

But Henry, who claims he is a traffic consultant, says that the project was not properly planned and should have accommodated for pedestrians.

 

Marilena Mortis

Philip “Faada” Henry

“This highway is a sentence to death to citizens within the city limits. I continue to say this; that we need to remove these huge slabs in the middle of the road and replace with a pedestrian, with a button that you could press so that people could get from point A to point B to get to the grocery store to shop. This is the ninth person within a two-year span die within this junction. Elderly citizens climb that stuff; one of them dropped about four weeks ago and rolled in the middle of the street. [Luckily] the vehicle managed to ride on the sidewalk. We have a death and it shouldn’t have happened because of the negligence of the persons who are building the highway and no postage of signs. I continue to say you need to gazette signs—which is the speed lane, the slow lane, whatever.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The driver of the vehicle is yet to be charged.

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