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Feb 22, 2019

Pickup truck mows down a minor and his great-grandmother!

A road traffic accident in the city has left a minor and his great-grand mother in the hospital. Police say forty-nine-year old Martin Franklin Reyes was driving at the corner of King Street and Amara Avenue when he hit the two pedestrians, an eighty-seven-year-old woman and her eight year old great-grandson who attends Saint Ignatius Primary School. The pair routinely takes the same route. It was all captured on surveillance cameras. Reyes has since been served with a notice of intended prosecution, while his two victims, who both received varying degrees of injuries, remain under observation in the hospital. Reporter Andrea Polanco met the family and tells us more about the accident.

 

Rosalinda Orellana, Grand-daughter

“This morning I called my granny and she was very happy. She said, Rosi why you nuh come dah Belize and I tell she that I gwein soon. And she say,’ no, come fast because someday I will dead and you will come to see me.’ I tell ah I gwein granny and then afterwards they called me and then I heard about this accident. Mhmm.”

 

And those chilling words almost came true at this busy four way intersection of Amara Avenue and King Street in Belize City. Rosalinda’s grandmother is eighty-seven year old Gudiela Estevez.  She and her great grandson eight-year-old Nikolai Tunn were knocked down by a pick-up truck as they were crossing the intersection – heading to St Ignatius School.

 

Miriam Garcia, Grand-daughter

Miriam Garcia

“She was heading to take my nephew to school. And apparently, I think the driver has the fault on that.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“You think there was negligence?”

 

Miriam Garcia

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

Rosalinda Orellana

Rosalinda Orellana

“She said she was crossing and then the driver was coming – she di cross the street and he didn’t see that my granny was crossing and then he gone straight with she.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“But your grandmother was already crossing before that vehicle took off?”

 

Rosalinda Orellana

“Aha! Yes.”

 

The traffic accident was captured on surveillance cameras from a business in the area. As you can see, at about eight-forty eight today, traffic is flowing as usual at this intersection. First, a school bus drives along Amara Avenue. And as you can see, in this video – a red pick- truck pulls up at the intersection on King Street – there is a brief moment of no traffic at the intersection – the driver waits for a few seconds waiting to turn on Amara Avenue. A few other vehicles go by – and if you look closely, you will see the elderly woman and the little boy walking hurriedly from the opposite side of King Street – crossing the intersection – and were in the middle when the truck took off – mowing them down on Amara Avenue. The vehicle stopped and others rushed to their aid. Miriam Garcia says reports suggest that the driver may have been distracted – allegedly on a cell-phone.

 

Miriam Garcia

“Apparently, you know how comments go, they say he was on his cell-phone but I can’t say it is true.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, when he turned the corner, it seems he didn’t see them?”

 

Miriam Garcia

“Yes that is what he told my sister personally; that he didn’t see them.”

 

Today it was tough for this family to see their usually sprightly matriarch hospitalized.  They hope that she’ll recover – but they fear that because of Estevez’s age, her health will rapidly deteriorate.

 

Miriam Garcia

“I just came out from the emergency room and she has pain. She is complaining of pain in her neck. So, she was crying. It seems she was really, really in pain. Hopefully we could have her for a few more years with us. I was telling my mom that this could bring her health down.”

 

Eight-year old Nikolai was released from the hospital earlier today but in the afternoon he started to complain of severe stomach pains and has since been admitted to hospital for further examinations.

 

Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.

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