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Nov 23, 2012

5 friends in car crash; one passes away

A Belize Natural Energy employee was killed on Thursday night just after seven o’clock as he left the B.N.E. compound in Spanish Lookout. Elvis Castellanos, a father of three, died instantly when an oncoming Chevy pickup truck crashed into the passenger side of the Volkswagen car he was travelling in. Four other passengers in the vehicle were injured as well as the driver of the Chevy. Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Rest in Peace Elvis—is written on the pavement of the main road and entrance to the Spanish Lookout Community in Cayo District. The touching words were inscribed following a traffic accident just minutes after seven on Thursday night that claimed the life of thirty-nine year old Elvis Castellanos.

Elvis Castellanos

Castellanos, an employee of Belize Natural Energy (BNE), and four others, had just clocked out from work and were travelling in this green Volkswagen car. Upon reaching this stretch on the road, the grey Chevy pickup truck driven by Jose Antonio Orellana, a farmer of Las Tambos Village, collided into the car.

But while Orellana’s passenger, Gilbert Gutierrez, also of Los Tambos, received two cut wounds under the chin and a cut wound to the head, Castellanos was mortally wounded. It is believed that both Orellana and Gutierrez were intoxicated. According to Castellanos’ brother, Jose, just around seven p.m. he received a call about the incident but could not believe that it was true.


Jose Castellanos

Jose Castellanos, Brother of Deceased

“About seven o’clock, I get a call that my brother was in an accident, but where I was I couldn’t get good service so until half an hour after that, I was certain that my brother died on the spot. They just left from their work spot; they work with BNE and about maybe a minute or two after they left the compound, they meet two vehicles coming towards them. The second vehicle was swerving—out of control. So it looks like the driver in the vehicle where my brother was tried to escape because the pickup truck was coming on their side. They tried to get away from it, but I think it was too late. The vehicle came right into the passenger side.”


Mayor Castellanos, Brother of Deceased

“If I had met the guy that was drunk last night, I would be the one behind bars at this moment.”


The driver of the car, Giovanni Valdez and passengers Julio Castellanos, Viriato Matus and Francisco Concha—all employees of the oil company, as well as Orellana have been admitted o the K.H.M.H. and the Western Regional Hospital for treatment to the various degree of injuries sustained.


Jose Castellanos

“About five of them get hurt. Five persons injured. You got a guy from Benque with ih two foot broke with an arm. And then the driver for the small vehicle, he is at Karl Heusner Hospital. I think ih stable but ina bad condition.”


Maynor Castellanos

Both Maynor and Jose shared their sentiments about Elvis and what they will miss the most.


Maynor Castellanos

“My little brother, he was a nice gentleman. If he meets you on the road, he would stop and try and give you a helping hand. He was a nice person.  He’s a loving father, a good husband and I think he has more positive than negative in his life.”


Duane Moody

“Tell us about Elvis what you guys will remember the most about him?”


Jose Castellanos

“Mien, dah one of we beloved brother. He was a very cool guy and we will miss that guy very much. I am the oldest one out of the brothers and he is the third one and mien I noh wish that to nobody mien, to lose wah loved one.”


And despite their grief, the family wants the law to take its course, and is asking the Police to tighten its grip on persons drinking and driving.


Maynor Castellanos

“Most of all I just really want the law to do their job because we want justice. It’s another life gone due to negligence maybe due to the law because they don’t control drunk driving. And I am just sending a message across; sometimes the law let loose a lot of people responsible for doing a lot of crap like this and so on.”


Jose Castellanos

“We just want the law to do ih job. We noh di penalize nobody, things happen and I just hope that ih goh di correct way. We can’t bring back anybody life or thing but you know.”


Gutierrez is currently detained at the San Ignacio Police Station.  Duane Moody for News Five.


Orellana was transported this afternoon from the Western Regional to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital due to further complications.

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14 Responses for “5 friends in car crash; one passes away”

  1. Storm says:

    Driving drunk is beyond negligence, it is like shooting a gun into a building, and not caring whether you kill someone. And sometimes, you do.

    I have no problem treating a case like this as murder, with the same punishment.

    My prayers for the soul of the victim and his family and friends.

  2. justice101 says:

    It’s sad that another tragedy like this involving alcohol happened. Let’s all hope that the government addresses this issue and finds a way to punish drivers under the influence. But again, let’s not forget about Mr. Vegas son who caused the death of Mr. Polanco. They have not punished that kid yet and him and his brothers keep drinking and driving through the streets of Benque Viejo. If this country is to believe in justice then something must be done about that case first.

  3. says:

    What a sad story, but we have seen this before. Remember IAN VEGA. While a normal civilian like Gutierrez in in Jail, Ian vega never even made it to the entrance of the police Station.

    Such injustice, no one should be above the law!!!

  4. Nikki says:

    Thank you so much Elvis for all the help you gave me at work. We’re going to miss you.

  5. MONICA says:

    Bz needs to have tougher laws on DUI . Have them pay fees, community service i.e. picking up garbage, sweeping the streets & probation for 1st timers. If you kill someone, jail time for a minimum of 10 yrs.

  6. Genotu Rembiuos says:


  7. Pedro Dolmo says:

    This is sad as usual a drunken driver the cause of an accident they need to start doing breathilizer test in Belize and the police need to be on these highways because of one stupid nincompoop another driver lost his life

  8. Heyner Cervantes says:

    I am Heyner Cervantes an ex employee of BNE have just resigned 2 weeks ago due to Many reasons one of them was Transportation. The five Men in that vehicle were my co-workers and good friends. As a rig worker i knew that they had a problem with transportation. two of them lived the furdest one at benque and one at soccuts. The others lived closer but their good heart for helping the two who lived the furdest they would catch ride to help with the fuel. BNE is a selfish company . The rig is required to have Two vehicles, one going to the furdest employee to the north and one going the furdest to the west. Is that not easy to think. A company like BNE KNOWs ABOUT THOSE THINGS BUT THEY PLAY THE FOOL. A company making millions of dollars should not leave the workers who live at benque thrown on the san ignacio streets at 8 pm, hitchhiking home. But they want to Exploit the workers. the two drilling superintendents should put these things in order but they are not. They are a pair of oppression rods, DESTROYING THE SWEET NORMS that BNE drilling department use to have.

  9. Succotz_ Cayo says:

    Its good news to know that the culprit is detained. However, I wish that the police would treat everybody who has committed a crime the same way. How comes Ian Vega who was intoxicated and crashed into the Windy Hill van that killed Luis Polanco was never detained. He was allowed to walk away without even taxing a test for alcohol. Seems when you rich you can get away with anything yeah!

  10. Bear says:

    1. Everyone who mentions IAN VEGA is exactly right — some activist group against drunk driving should organize some protests so that injustice is publicized. Citizens of Benque should consider self-help to get across the message of equal justice for all.

    2. Drunk driving punishment needs to be more comprehensive — IMPOUND THE CARS FOR 30 DAYS OR MORE, SUSPEND THE DRIVER’S LICENSE FOR MONTHS OR A YEAR ON THE FIRST OFFENSE. Jail and alcohol treatment would also be nice, but many people say drug/alcohol treatment doesn’t work a cure until the person is ready to be cured, and a court order won’t cause that in most cases.

  11. Hatari says:

    The laws are on the books but as long as were are controlled by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who will look the other way when $$$ is passed, we will never have justice. How about the Silva boy who murdered his girlfriend awhile back and then fled to Guatemala for “medical” treatment? Why hasn’t he been returned to face justice? And the list goes on and on. Money talks and the rest of us walk. And we keep re-electing these parasites every time.

  12. Joe says:

    take away his driving privilege for life.

  13. joey says:

    that is niot valid cause the accicdent occured in the pickup side i think the police should be little more fair cause i saw that accident.

  14. AJ says:

    Police and people should know better how can the pickup collide if the car is in the wrong side how can they say its the pickup fault when its the car that is in front of the pickup and your are right joey i saw it too the way the vehicles were.

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