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Dec 28, 1999

Five Chinese dead in Western Highway accident

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While the Christmas weekend was a time of joy for most people, today the Chinese community is in mourning. Five men, all immigrants from the People’s Republic of China, were killed in a traffic accident on the Western Highway on Christmas night. According to police reports, around eleven p.m. on the twenty-fifth, twenty-five year old Mai Wei Tzung, owner of the Canton Chinese Restaurant, was driving towards Hattieville from Belize City when his Mazda pickup truck crashed into a tree between miles thirteen and fourteen. Mai was taking home four men after attending a party in Belize City. They are thirty-one year old An Kin Ping, eighteen year old Chiw Kuan Mo, thirty-eight year old Michael Tsung and twenty-two year old Lo Kae Meng. Hattieville police were not notified of the accident until four hours later, around three thirty a.m., and it was then that officers found the lifeless body of Mai Wei Tzung behind the wheel of his truck. The bodies of his passengers lay strewn on the ground around the vehicle. Police believe the accident went unreported for so long because there was very little traffic on the road that night and the vehicle was almost hidden in the bushes off the side of the dark road. Police have not yet determined the cause of the accident. Kin Ping, Chiw Kuan Mo and Michael Tsung were employees of the Chon Saan Restaurant on Euphrates Avenue. Lo Kae Meng had only arrived in Belize twenty days ago and was working at the Canton Chinese Restaurant. Mai Wei Tzung leaves behind a wife and a one-year-old daughter and is to be buried in Belize. The other men have no family here but because of financial constraints, they are also going to be buried in Belize. Even though the victims were from mainland China, the Taiwan Association of Belize, the Chamber of Commerce of Taiwan and the Taiwanese Ambassador have donated money to assist with the funerals. Police say so far this year ten people have died as a result of traffic accidents between mile thirty-one and Belize City. Ironically, over the weekend, road crews were working hard painting bright yellow lines down the center of the Western Highway to make it easier to drive at night.

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