Teacher recounts traffic incident involving students and teachers in the South
Five teachers and five students were involved in an accident on December fifteenth. The students were going to join over ninety others on a excursion to a new planetarium that recently opened in Chetumal as part of a program called Best Students. The van that the students and teachers were travelling in did not get very far as it crashed into an orchard near Mile six on the Southern Highway. While police reported that the driver was blinded by the lights of a parked vehicle, the organizer of the trip, Silvestre Cucul, has another version of what happened on the highway. Cucul claims the driver may have dozed off at the wheel. The students received varying injures however, one of the teachers, Gloria Coc, is unable to walk and is undergoing surgery tonight. News Five spoke via phone to Cucul, who gave a vivid account of the accident.
Via Phone: Silvestre Cucul, Teacher, Julian Cho Technical School
“I am only concerned that our teacher who is at the KHMH is supposedly taking or going to get a surgery today. I’m yet to find out if that has happened or is happening. My concern is that she will get the best treatment possible so that he can get her legs properly recovered—when I say that I mean to be able to walk again. That is our major concern. We don’t want that our teacher not be given the best treatment there is for her to be able to get back that ability to walk. We left P.G. after three in the morning—it should have been after two, but we left after three because of something that the driver wasn’t around or available until late. On the road to, when we were to make that turn to go on the Humming Bird from the southern—the six mile junction—instead of making that turn, we went straight into the orchard through the sign that is there that shows that it is the end of the road there. That was what happened. We flew over the drain that is there and we ended up under the orchard under an orange tree ripping off some branches and all the jolt and jerks caused teachers and students to be banged and many bruises. One teacher in particular got her thigh bone fractured or broken; not fractured, broken. So she has to undergo surgery to get her ability to walk again.”
“Have they been able to figure out how the driver missed the turn?”
“No, up to this point, there is no mention as to what caused it. I can only surmise that perhaps it’s a dozing. He might have dozed for a few seconds. You know when you are travelling that does occur and early in the morning I supposed that may have caused him to not be aware that he was at the junction, otherwise he would have eased and gotten on the Humming Bird which did not happen.”
“Now in terms of the injuries, are the teachers and students having difficulties at this point?”
Via Phone: Silvestre Cucul
“Many of our teachers, myself included, we are suffering from bodily pain because of the bruises, because of the hits and the jerks that we got. In my case, I have bruised spinal cord area; the point of my spinal cord, the bottom of my spinal column is paining. I find it difficult to sit and get up and to sit down. The other teachers are suffering from pains and aches and cuts and bruises.”
The driver of the van, Randolph Duncan has been served with a notice of intended prosecution.