Bus accident claims life on Western Highway
Just before six o’clock on Tuesday evening, a Salvadoran caretaker who has been living in Belize for some twenty years was hit and killed in Belmopan. A Belize Bus Owners Cooperative bus transporting passengers to the City was involved in the terrible traffic accident. As a matter of routine, Candelario Lopez, rode the same route from work to home. His only daughter is in shock and is raising questions about the accident. News Five Delahnie Bain reports.
Delahnie Bain, Reporting
A traffic accident near the Agriculture Show Grounds on Tuesday evening resulted in the tragic death of Roaring Creek Resident, Candelario Lopez. The sixty-two year old Salvadoran national was heading home on bicycle when he was hit by a passenger bus driven by Patrick Morgan.
Patrick Miranda, Bus Driver
“Ih mi deh pan ih right hand side, but he swerved eena di middle ah di road I noh know fi what. But I try avoid ah, I blow mi horn and dat dah how end up pan dis side ah di road, fi avoid—fi noh hit di man. I noh know if ih can’t hear or what or how ih end up eena di middle ah di road wid my air horn on and all I hear dah wah bang. I noh know. I try mi best mein. Ih could ah mi be worse because yoh had vehicles pan di other side weh mi gwein eena Belmopan weh I couldn’t ah come no more off ah di road from hit di man. I come as far off as I could and di man, like I seh, I noh know if ih can’t hear, but he just mi di come eena di road and dat dah when I hear di bang.”
One of the passengers told us off camera today that she was in shock when she realized that someone had been knocked down.
Voice of: Bus Passenger
“At the time of the accident, I was reading a book. The bus was going at a moderate speed and I only was alerted to the accident upon the impact. It was hard to believe it was a person. The sound was actually metallic. The bus, however, struggled to pull to the side of the road and it actually felt like it was going to tilt over. However, the driver managed to steer the bus to the side of the road. I heard the loud sounds of the horn and a very distressed driver holding his head and shaking it in disbelief and shock. It was then that I realized that it was a person that was actually run over or we actually hit.”
Lopez’ daughter Sarah says the family got the news soon after the accident, but her father was already dead by the time they arrived at the scene.
Sara Lopez, Daughter of Accident Victim
“Wah man reach yah and seh dehn have accident dah front and he think dah mi pah. So di man think dah mi pah, he noh sure if dah mi pa. ih come tell me ma, den my ma pick up me and when we reach dah di place front ah show grounds and we si my pa deh deh under di bus and di bike. Police deh deh but dehn neva lef me mek I pass but when I tell dehn dat I dah di daughter, ih lef me mek I mi pass and I ask di police—because I si he noh di move right—so I ask if we could ker ah dah hospital and di policeman tell me ih done dead already. Ih seh from di bus knock ah ih done dead, so we can’t do nothing.”
According to Sarah, she has been hearing conflicting reports about how the accident happened, which raises questions since she knows her father’s daily route and has also had bad experiences with bus drivers on the road.
“Di driver seh my pa cross di road, next people seh dah noh true, next people seh wah vehicle di come eena wah side but di vehicle too—wah next one pass den and di bus come out lee bit outside so dats why di bus knock mi pa. Some people seh dat, some people seh mi pah di cross, me noh know because me noh deh dah back deh. Weh pah dehn had di accident, front ah weh pah dehn sell the vegetables, my pa noh cross deh; my pah cross right yah weh pad di lee place deh. Every time he cross deh, he noh cross weh part deh sell di vegetables. Dehn seh my pa mi di cross di road but I noh think dah so.”
The loss of her father also comes at an especially difficult time for Sarah, who has an upcoming surgery for a cancerous tumor in her brain.
“Only that I have, only mi pa and my ma. I can’t tell you weh I feel… I feel bad when I si my pa like dat throw weh eena di ground.”
“Are you all working on funeral arrangements and so on now?”
“Well, I noh know because di pastor seh ih wah try help me wid dat, me noh good fi do dat right now because mi pa di bury and den I have to get wah operation eena my head da Salvador. So I di worry bout dat too because dis thing eena mi head dah noh something good. I tell mi daughter I noh understand how dat happen.”
Delahnie Bain for News Five.
Morgan has been served with a notice of intended prosecution.