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Apr 6, 2009

Northern Highway Accident claims 4 more lives

Story PictureLast Wednesday three persons died in a horrible accident on the Northern Highway near Carmelita Village. And tonight five days later, the Highway has claimed the life of four more persons caused again by a tire blow-out. The latest tragedy occurred shortly before six on Sunday evening, and it involved a family from the village of Cristo Rey in the Corozal District. Dead were four brothers and sisters. The Acosta family was driving towards Belize City but at mile forty-one, the left rear tire sustained a blow out causing the vehicle to flip. The driver of the red and grey Mitsubishi L200, thirty three year old Jose Acosta, a teacher at Escuela Secundaria Mexico, was killed on impact. The bodies of forty seven year old Victoria Acosta and Maria Acosta were ejected from the vehicle and flung onto the right side of the highway. They too were killed instantly. But thirty six year old Epifania Acosta died while receiving medical treatment at the Northern Regional Hospital. The other family members, nineteen year old Ana; fifteen year old Seidy; Fifteen year old Joycie; twelve year old Miguel and seven year old Danisha, were also transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where they are being treated for various degrees of head and body injuries. One of the persons who helped victims at the scene, David Craig, said that it was the worst accident he had witnessed.

David Craig, Witnessed Accident
“We were on the Northern Highway coming up round mile forty-five and there was a vehicle that passed us, a red Mitsubishi. First thing I noticed was that there were a bunch of people in the back; a bunch of ladies. And they went around the curve and by the time we got around the curve, what we saw was everything strewn all along the road and the vehicle in the center of the road, right side up. That’s what we saw and then I parked, walked up to the scene. Jose, it’s one of the most horrific scenes I’ve seen in my experience. What we thought were bags strewn all over the roads were actually people. There were five women on the road with varying degrees of injuries; two of them dead. I walked up to the truck and saw that the driver was also dead. Miraculously, there was a young child—a young girl about five to six years old in the back and a twelve year old boy came up to me and asking for his mom. So he was obviously in the vehicle and I think he just came out through the window. His mom was in really bad shape. We found her eventually, she was on the side of the road. What happened was there was a blowout. We checked the tires afterwards and the vehicle probably just flipped and rolled. And it just threw everybody up in the air and really horrific head injuries to these people.”

Superintendent Joseph Myvette, O.C. Orange Walk Police Dept.
“Our initial investigation revealed that shortly before six p.m. this pick up was traveling eastbound towards Belize City when a witness accounts say that the vehicle may have suffered a blowout which caused the driver to lose control, which is the cause of the accident. Up on checking the scene of the accident we observed that several other persons were also injured. One person was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital in a critical condition who later succumbed to her injuries. Five other persons were injured and are now taking treatment at the Northern Regional Hospital. Those persons injured are Ana Acosta, Miguel Acosta, Danisha Acosta, and Seidy Acosta and Joycie Acosta. Those who died during the accident are Jose Acosta, Victoria Acosta, Maria Acosta and Epifania Acosta.”

Jose Sanchez
“Some of them were in the back right?”

David Craig
“Yes, there were five in the back and it was a double cab pick up. Two children were in the back seat of the pick-up. The driver, his wife was in the front. We managed to take her out of the smashed windshield. Her legs were in the glass. We broke the glass and took her out and put her on the side of the road. Of course, I called 911 even before I got out my truck. So at that time we knew help was coming but we had to help the people that needed help that were alive. The two that the ambulance got there about twenty minutes afterwards and they took two that were in really bad shape. So definitely confirmed there were two women and the driver of course. This is not even the Easter holiday yet, the Easter weekend. Really the police need to check on these vehicles that have people in the back, and speeding especially. The vehicle was going fairly fast; it passed me. And we really need to think about what we’re doing on the roads.”

Joseph Myvette
“What I know for certain is that during these times the highway is very hot and I want to advise drivers to certainly examine their tires while traveling and also to travel within the speed limit. We are advising people to stay within the speed limits. Certainly the highway patrol is going to be out there monitoring they highway but it would be advisable to travel when the road is not at the temperature it is; especially in the afternoon.”

The four accident victims are awaiting a post mortem examination. During the period of January first to March thirty-first, there were a total of five hundred and six reported road traffic accidents throughout the country. Fourteen of the accidents resulted in serious injuries and four persons died from their injuries. And the two accidents in April on the Northern Highway bring the total traffic related deaths to eleven.

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