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Feb 21, 2005

Two dead in Double Head car crash

Story PictureProgress, as we know, can bring problems and one deadly example of this adage occurred on Saturday afternoon in the Belize River Valley. Ever since a beautifully paved highway replaced the old washboard sand and gravel road, drivers have taken the opportunity to shorten their travel time…and in this case shorten two lives. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods has more.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
This is the Isuzu Rodeo that the six men–all friends and relatives–were travelling in when it overturned numerous times before finally coming to rest against these trees between Bermudian Landing and Double Head Cabbage. Forty-nine year old Bernard Sutherland, an area resident and thirty-five year old George Lewis from Belize City, died after being thrown from the vehicle as it flipped. Their bodies were found several yards away from the crash site. The men were returning from a cricket match in a neighbouring village when the accident occurred.

Bernadine Lewis, Sister of the Deceased
?They were going to Double Head Cabbage to get a guitar because Mr. Sutherland was actually singing for them in the vehicle while they were going and they said they were laughing and talking. They wanted to catch Iguana because they like to eat Iguana and stuff like that and they actually missed four Iguanas. So they were now going to get the guitar to probably take a two beer and sing and play the guitar and thing.?

Bernadine Lewis says she was at the game when she received the bad news. Lewis says when she arrived on the scene she started consoling one of Sutherland?s daughters, but did not know that her brother had also died…that is until she saw the driver of the vehicle: twenty-three year old Fallet Flowers and the other passengers eighteen year old Brian Dina, twenty-three year old Wilhelm White and twenty-four year old Doyle Young…all suffering from various injuries.

Bernadine Lewis
?I said where is George? They said George is dead and I said, no and I ran over towards where he was on the ground and I said, no, no.?

?He got thrown out and he died instantly, he broke his neck. Mr. Sutherland also broke his neck and he died instantly. He got thrown about fifty yards from my brother. The vehicle land just about a yard from my brother. I think if the vehicle did not land on a tree, I guess it would have been worst because it could have killed all of them.?

Police are still trying to determine what caused the driver to crash. Flowers have told authorities that he lost control of the vehicle. It ran off the road, and overturned. Another report suggests that the vehicle was travelling at a very high speed and when it turned a deep bend in the road the vehicle swerved to avoid colliding into a motorcycle that was coming in the opposite direction. Other information suggests that the vehicle had experienced mechanical problems. The accident occurred not far away from the Sutherland?s residence. Denise Sutherland says her family is trying to cope with her father?s sudden death.

Denise Sutherland, Daughter of the Deceased
?Well so far we take it as a shock, but eventually we will have to get through it so. Right now everybody is emotional.?

A dig in the middle of the road that was made by the vehicle marks the spot where it is believed Flowers first experienced mechanical problems. The vehicle had just passed one of the most dangerous curves on the road where area residents say motorists frequently run into trouble. Sutherland says one good thing she would like to see come from the tragedy is the installation of safety features to prevent the further loss of lives.

Denise Sutherland
?I would like them to install speed bumps because I guess it would be safer for everyone.?

Egbert Young agrees. He lives adjacent to the location of the accident and was one of the first on the scene. Young says it is not the first time that he has had to come to someone?s aid.

Egbert Young, Area Resident/Witness
?If you put a sign with the policeman, what you call them??

Jacqueline Woods
?Speed bumps??

Egbert Young
?Yes. If you put a sign with the speed bumps and show that one this way and one up that side, it would have been so much helpful for traffic to let the drivers know that they have to take more precaution.?

Unfortunately the Lewis family is not only dealing with the loss of a loved one but what happened to him after he died and his body was on the ground.

Bernadine Lewis
?The sad part is that I think when people give assistance or render aid to an accident and stuff like that, I don?t think that they should remove people?s things and steal them and stuff like that. Because my brother had his wallet on him, he had on gold chain and cell phone and we didn?t find any cell phone his wallet his chain was not on him. I found his ring on him and brought it home and gave it to his wife.?

Lewis says her brother and Sutherland were friends but had not seen each other for five years. Little did the men know that their reunion on Saturday would have ended in both their deaths. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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