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May 31, 1999

B.D.F. soldier flees fatal accident

A B.D.F. soldier, who caused a fatal crash Friday night, made a bad situation worse by stealing a witness’s car and fleeing the scene. Orange Walk police tell News Five that around 7 p.m. between miles 52 and 53 on the Northern Highway a B.D.F. soldier from Guinea Grass, Hilberto Batun was traveling towards Belize City in a B.D.F. pick-up truck. He collided with another pick-up heading in the opposite direction. He then skidded off the road and into the back of a tractor-trailer parked some distance off the highway. The driver of the pick-up, 24 year old Christina Reyes sustained serious head injuries and died several hours later while efforts were being made to take her to Chetumal for medical treatment. Her passenger 21 year old Yasmina Guerra was hospitalized, but her condition is not considered serious. Just after the collision a witness, Noel Codd stopped to render assistance and while he was helping the victims, the B.D.F. soldier got into his red Nissan car and drove off. Batun was apprehended on Saturday morning and the car was found near Guinea Grass. Police have charged him with several offenses including manslaughter by negligence and “taking a conveyance without permission”.

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