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Sep 26, 2000

Victim’s widow contradicts police accident report

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On yesterday’s newscast we reported on what appeared to be an unfortunate traffic mishap in which a Belize City man lost his life. However, a News Five investigation has revealed that the official report of the incident on Dolphin Street told only one version of the story.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Linda Middleton says that contrary to what was reported by police, her common law husband, Delroy Menzies, was not riding on any bicycle, when he was knocked down Sunday night by a Belikin truck.

Linda Middleton, Mother

“Delroy wasn’t riding no bicycle. Delroy he does not even have a bicycle. I don’t know where they got this stuff about bicycle business because he was not riding any bicycle. Delroy wasn’t riding a bicycle.”

Middleton says they had just left church and she was walking with Menzies, her children and her sister on a sidewalk on Dolphin Street when a speeding Belikin truck drove onto the sidewalk and crashed into Menzies who was carrying their 2 year old daughter Nicole.

Linda Middleton

“I didn’t have the time to say Delroy look out because the truck just came suddenly on the sidewalk and hit Delroy and Delroy fly in the air with Nicole because he was holding Nicole. I saw Delroy go up in the air and come down and then Nicole fly one side and he fly one side. I was just confused and I just scream and then I yell for Delroy then Nicole and then my sister came and grab Nicole and said “Oh my God Nicole’s hand is coming off.” And I run back to Delroy and I said “Delroy don’t die, Delroy please don’t die.”

But there was nothing the doctors at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital could do to save Delroy’s life. He died at 1:20 Monday morning due to severe head injuries. Middleton also refutes police reports that it was the truck’s right side view mirror hit Menzies. She says it was the front of the vehicle that hit her loved ones.

Linda Middleton

“If a mirror hit Delroy like that, it won’t do all that damage to him and his 2 year old daughter he head this big mark in her head her hands and stuff. I don’t know.”

Jacqueline Woods

“You said you saw when the front of the vehicle hit your common law husband?”

Linda Middleton

“Yes. Cause we were on the sidewalk off Dolphin Street and all of a sudden this truck came from nowhere and knocked Delroy.”

Baby Menzies who severely injured her right hand has since been transferred to the Belize Medical Associates Clinic.

Linda Middleton

“I am worried about her hand you know because this is her right hand she will need in the future and the condition of her hand was it was hanging and all that stuff. But otherwise they took X rays and stuff and they find no broken skull or no fractures. So thank God for that but she is suffering with severe pain. I mean for her to go through that for a 2 year old baby.”

It has been rough for the family. Middleton says although she knows it won’t bring back her common law husband, whom she says was a devoted father, she wish there would be stiffer penalties against drivers who recklessly kill people.

Linda Middleton

“This is a great loss to her. I don’t know if she will understand that her father is gone because Delroy really loved Nicole and they always be together you know as father and daughter. I don’t know how we can live without Delroy because Delroy, he was friendly and warm, loving person.”

Gilbert Gibson, the driver of the truck, was arrested and charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention and negligent grievous harm.

Middleton says although she is a witness to the incident, the police did not visit her at the hospital nor did they ask her any questions. Instead she had to go by the station on her own and give a statement. However, when the police sent out their Monday report it only had the driver’s account of what took place. When we contacted Fitzroy Yearwood, the acting police press officer, and asked him about the report, Yearwood says the information was given to him by Belmopan and he was not aware that Middleton had given a statement. Yearwood says they will investigate the matter.

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