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Dec 24, 2012

Fatal traffic accident on George Price Highway

Patrick Escalante

Though two persons were murdered over the weekend, a third individual lost his life on the outskirts of Belize City. It is not known if alcohol was involved in the incident but an SUV crashed into the rear of a bus resulting in one fatality. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A fatal road traffic accident, involving a sports utility vehicle and a westbound commuter bus, has the family of twenty-three year-old Patrick Escalante refuting accounts given by Belize City police.  Shortly before six o’clock on Saturday morning, Escalante was driving this Nissan Pathfinder along the George Price Highway, near Bravo Motors, when he suddenly rear-ended a West Line bus en route to Benque Viejo.  The deadly collision occurred within eyeshot of his family home.

 

Voice of: Eyewitness

“I saw the national bus, a green and white bus, coming from the western, the checkpoint-side, coming this side so I had a flashlight and I was stopping the bus for someone out here.  By the time the bus put on the indicator from, I would say, I noh know how much yards that but wah good ways down the road ih put on ih indicator fu come off ah di side ah di road.  So I come een and I stand up mih di wait pan whoever mih di out deh jump pan di bus.”

 

A few seconds later, the bystander heard a violent crash as the oncoming SUV made impact with the tail end of the stationary bus, which was driven at the time by forty-five year old Godfrey Dougal.

 

Raphael Martinez

Raphael Martinez, Police Press Officer

“Police visited the scene on the George Price Highway between miles four and five and upon arrival; they saw a Green and White International Bus with license plates SI-D-00235 on the extreme right side of the highway. It was parked facing Belmopan. The bus received extensive damages to the entire rear portion and also seen was a Grey Nissan Pathfinder SUV, with license plate BZ-C-32315, and this was directly behind the bus facing in the same direction. It had extensive damage to the front portion of it. On the scene, police saw a person who appears to be of Hispanic descent lying face up on the extreme right shoulder of the highway.”

 

Escalante had been gravely injured upon contact.

 

Voice of: Eyewitness

“The Silver Pathfinder, coming from da side deh, I noh know if di person mussi fell asleep or something but di person mussi either fell asleep and mi di drive or something like that cause all of a sudden I sih di Pathfinder start come fast, fast, fast.  With da speed deh so I wonder weh [ih mi di do].  I woulda seh, to me either ih mash di aux and drop asleep because when ih hit the center a di bus, I noh even know weh happen afta dat.  I soh frightened ya soh weh I deh, I di stand up and di watch it like…I can’t believe ih happen so quick and fast.”

 

Raphael Martinez

“Initial investigations revealed that the bus was being driven by Godfrey Bowen Dougal, forty-five years old, at the time. He was heading to Belmopan and upon reaching in front of Bravo Motors, he pulled to the right side of the road when the SUV, driven by twenty-three year old Patrick Escalante of mile four and a half on the George Price Highway which was behind heading in the same direction collided into the rear of the bus. It is also reported that Passengers from that bus took out Escalante from his SUV and laid him on the ground. He was subsequently transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:14 a.m.”

 

The circumstance surrounding the accident is very much the subject of contention, as Patrick’s family asserts that the West Line bus may have come to an abrupt halt to board its passenger.  The fact that the SUV slammed squarely into the rear of the bus, to the Escalantes, suggests that Dougal did not pull off the highway.

 

Isani Cayetano

“Did anyone either from within the bus or anyone who may have seen this particular accident render any assistance to this person prior to being transported off the scene?”

 

Voice of: Eyewitness

“Yes.  So much, so many people.  I woulda seh, I think wah nurse and wah policeman mi deh pan di bus to.  Luckily dehn mi come off a di bus and try render assistance but dehn mi di pump di man but when di BERT truck come dehn explain and tell everybody dress back mek dehn deal wid whatsoever and by the time dehn staat pump di man, dehn she di man gone.”

 

Urine samples have since been obtained from Godfrey Dougal, as well as a caution statement.  He has also been served a notice of intended prosecution. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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6 Responses for “Fatal traffic accident on George Price Highway”

  1. Western highway of Death says:

    Any more news on that GOB vehicle to totaled by the guy who does not have a driver’s license but is allowed to drive and wreck it? Did GOB have insurance, or is that for everyone else. He needs a new vehicle and a drivers license, and is getting impatient.

    What are the car wreck and car death stats looking like? More deaths by murder or car wrecks?

  2. Louisville,Ky says:

    It is very unfortunate that the Driver of the SUV lost his life in such an untimely manner,being a young man and all.
    According to the eye witness report, the Bus Driver did indicate with his light that he was pulling over to pick up a passenger. Even if he did not do so, it is the responsibility of a Driver going in the same direction to maintain a safe distance and be ready at a moments notice to take evasive actions to avoid a rear end collision.
    Most safety Instructors will tell you to keep at least a three second distance between you and the vehicle you are tailing, because for sure, you won’t be able to stop on a dime.
    You can not be too careful when you are behind the wheel, as the life you save may be your very own. My condolences to his family.

  3. Ricky Malthus says:

    Drivers are suppose to keep 36 ft per second from vehicles in front of them when traveling 55 mph. I hope the police are well trained to understand this and are not trigger happy to treat this other than just an accident.

  4. Storm says:

    Besides excessive speed, evident from the damage to the vehicles, I wonder whether the SUV driver was distracted by something — how else to explain not seeing a bus in broad daylight, with the sun to your back?

    Anyway, condolences to the victim’s family, may he rest in peace.

  5. Marie says:

    dumb@$$ bus drivers NEVER pull fully over-this is why they should-Why doesnt GOB start enforicing this law? They always stop traffic by not pulling over simply because they dont want other busses to go ahead of them. They should arrest the driver of every bus who is in an accident (whether his fault or not-as it is always some contributory reason the accident happens anyway) and then you will see how better they drive. Only a matter of time before the racing on northern highway kills some poor mother taking her kids to school-you wait and see. Then when they do stop-they pull out just because they know you must stop or run into them who will be safe anyway. Sue their @$$#$ escalantes-so at least his death protects others when hopefully, they learn to quit this dangerous stopping in mid road-you can clearly see it in the pic that it is not off the road dumb @$$

  6. Buju says:

    THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THE FAMILY!

    MAY GOD HAVE BLESS HIM!

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