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Oct 28, 1999

Belize City teenagers injured in high speed collision

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Another accident late Wednesday evening has left two young men in critical condition. Eyewitnesses say around eight thirty, the car being driven by eighteen-year-old Omar Zelaya was going fast as it made its way down St. Thomas Street and did not yield at the stop sign at the intersection of Princess Margaret Drive. The car collided with a brown Trooper carrying forty-four year Bhojraj Ghanwani and his two children. News Five’s Janelle Chanona was at the scene.

Janelle Chanona

“Around eight forty p.m., residents living near the intersection of St. Thomas Street and St. Matthews Street heard a loud noise. When they came outside, this was the scene that greeted them. According to initial eyewitness reports, the blue car was making its way from St. Thomas Street into St. Matthews Street when it collided with a brown Trooper.”

Eyewitnesses tell News Five that when Omar Zelaya’s car hit the Trooper, being driven by Bhojraj Ghanwani which was heading toward Coney Drive, both cars flew into the air before landing on the ground. Ghanwani’s car ended up on its side near the fence of the National Stadium. Zelaya’s car was found around the corner, in a drain on St. Matthews Street. Traffic Inspector Martin Yama was in charge of the scene.

Martin Yama, Traffic Inspector

“I understand that the car was coming at a high speed and if you notice, there is a hump like on Princess Margaret Drive. So as a result of the speed, I understand they went up into the air.”

Although a sealed bottle of stout was found in the car, Inspector Yama does not believe the accident was alcohol related.

Martin Yama

“No we did not find anything to suggest that there was any alcohol related.”

Q: “Who was in the wrong here, if you are able to say that right now?”

Martin Yama

“If I were guided by the preliminary inquires, then the person, Zelaya, would be at fault, if I would confirm the information I got.”

Ghanwani and his two children were treated for minor injuries and later released. Zelaya and his passenger, eighteen-year-old Duane Cano were not so lucky. They had to be removed from their car by pedestrians and were taken separately to the K.H.M.H. by ambulance. Family members arrived at the scene shortly after the youths were taken away, frantically trying to find out what happened to their sons. Janelle Chanona for News Five.

Omar Zelaya, who suffered severe injuries to his head, is conscious. He is listed as critical but stable at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Duane Cano, who also sustained severe head injuries, was transferred earlier today to a hospital in the United States by Air Ambulance.

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