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Jul 3, 2013

Traffic accident kills driver and three foreign students

Traffic AccidentA recently released international report says that the number of road traffic deaths went down in Belize between 2001 and 2010; in 2010 only forty-one casualties were recorded. But earlier today, the death toll went up for this year following a horrible traffic accident on the George Price Highway by the bridge near the Bus man Arnold farm, which is also known as the Lucio Contreras Chi Bridge… the traffic mishap claimed the lives of four persons.  Three foreign students were heading to the airport after completing a course with the Archaeology Department when their taxi collided head on with a passenger bus. The taxi driver also perished in the crash this morning. Duane Moody headed to the bloody scene of the accident.

 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Just after ten this morning, three female students: a twenty-three year old American, a twenty-four year old of the Republic of Malta and a twenty-five year old of Greece perished in a traffic accident near the Lucio Contreras Chi Bridge on the George Price Highway. The trio had completed an archaeological course called the Belize Valley Archaeological Project in the Cayo District. They were heading to the Phillip Goldson International Airport for the return flight to their respect home countries when the taxi they were traveling in lost control and slammed head on into a West Line passenger bus traveling towards San Ignacio. Taxi driver, sixty-four year old Eliseo Chan, also died on impact.

 

Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Deputy O.C., San Ignacio Police FormationReymundo Reyes

“At this moment we are in the process of recording statements, having the vehicles being inspected by transport officers, and also trying to get information and pass it on to the relevant consulates so that the family members could be informed.”

 

Duane Moody

“From preliminary investigation and of course a look at the scene, who is at fault? What really happened to have caused the deadly collision?”

 

Insp. Reymundo Reyes

“So far what investigation reveals based on the interview conducted with the driver of the bus, he is saying that it appears that the driver of the taxi lost control causing the head on collision. He applied brakes and it is something that he couldn’t avoid.”

 

 

Linda Jeal, her cousin, Jacqueline, and her mother were inside their house when they heard a loud bang, almost like an explosion. They ran to the scene about a hundred and fifty yards away and using their first aid skills, attempted to rescue the injured four. Jeal recounted the horrific sight when she approached the scene.

 

Linda JealLinda Jeal, First Respondent

“We all came running out and by the time we looked out we only saw the bus. At that time, I thought it was only the bus that slammed into the bridge. By the time we kept running closer, we noticed that hit had actually slammed in a head on collision into a white car. Kids were screaming, people were shouting trying to get out of the window.”

 

“The white taxi was totally mashed up in the front…and when I looked inside I saw three white ladies in the back. One of them was totally…she was dead on impact. The lady on the right hand side was definitely dead on the impact; my cousin took her out of the vehicle. There was the other young lady. I couldn’t see her face, but she was the only one breathing. The lady on the opposite side, she was totally bent over. I definitely know her back must have been broken.”

 

Despite the fright, they managed to get all four persons out the severely damaged taxi. While Chan and two of his passengers died on scene, the third foreigner succumbed to her injuries while en route to the Western Regional Hospital.

 

Linda Jeal

“He managed to take the lady who was bent over, he managed to straighten her up, and pull her out. She was in terrible condition. He bones were just totally broken. They took her out but she was breathing. We laid her out on her side, we lifted her head try to make her passage way so that she can breath. We tried to get the small lady out from the middle. By the time we lift her out, we noticed that she was a young girl. She was still breathing when we took her out and we put her on the side of the road. We checked her vitals, checked for pulse…she still had a pulse, very strong. And I was talking to her, cleaning her nose because she continued bleeding immensely through her nose, through her mouth, through her ears. And I just kept talking to her trying to tell her we were here and trying to make a passage way, but she died shortly. It was heartbreaking for me cause she actually died in my arms.”

 

Insp. Reymundo Reyes

“ Upon arrival, we saw that two persons were already taken out of the vehicle. It was two females, they were already dead on the sport. Trapped inside the vehicle were another female who was actually assisted out by police and civilians. She was immediately transported to Belmopan via BERT Ambulance. The driver of the vehicle Mister Eliseo Chan, he was trapped between the steering wheel and the seat so members from the fire department had to cut open the vehicle to get access to him. He died on the spot also.”

 

Chan was a member of the Midtown Taxi Association since its inception seven years ago. President, Luis Rodriguez, was immediately out at the scene and confirmed that it was him.

 

Luis Rodriguez, President, Midtown Taxi Association

“He was a good guy…not because this happen, but he was really a good guy always giving good advices…always working for the association. Seven years ago we founded this association like seven years and it was very said when we found out this news. I came here and I confirmed that it was his vehicle and it was him. It is really sad and I’m shocked.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The three students are Molly Hude from the United States, Angela Bugeja from the Republic of Malta and Ioanna Thomopoulou from Greece. Up to late this evening, police were attempting to contact the diplomatic representatives from the countries to relay the bad news. 

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2 Responses for “Traffic accident kills driver and three foreign students”

  1. John Oliver says:

    Does any one ask, or report, whether these unfortunate people were wearing seatbelts?
    The girls were from European countries, where seatbelts are compulsory, so why not here ?
    I would hope the Police, the insurance companies, the medical profession, our new Ministry of works highway safety unit, would all be interested in whether the Belize law was obeyed, and would seek to have the results of this question asked and published in this and all similar accidents.

    That way, we might have a graphic, if gruesome, incentive to “buckle up”.
    jonO

  2. John Oliver says:

    Does any one ask, or report, whether these unfortunate people were wearing seatbelts?
    The girls were from European countries, where seatbelts are compulsory, so why not here ?
    I would hope the Police, the insurance companies, the medical profession, our new Ministry of works highway safety unit, would all be interested in whether the Belize law was obeyed, and would seek to have the results of this question asked and published in this and all similar accidents.

    That way, we might have a graphic, if gruesome, incentive to “buckle up”.
    jonO

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