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Dec 7, 2015

Nine-year-old Gerardo Lopez Killed in Road Traffic Accident

Gerardo Lopez

One man has been arrested and charged after he knocked down a young student last Thursday on the Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town. The student was crossing the busy road at the very busy lunch hour when the tragedy occurred. Gerardo Lopez, nine years old, died at the KHMH on Saturday, and the fresh wound of his passing has highlighted an ongoing concern by the school which has gone unanswered. Mike Rudon was in Orange Walk and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

In this Standard Three classroom, a chair sits empty and a school mourns the loss of one of their own. Nine year old Gerardo Geovanni Lopez died on Saturday, two days after he was struck by a motorcycle as he crossed the road within sight of the school.


Voice of: Sheryl Distan, Principal, Solomon’s SDA

“He was going home with his mom for lunch and then they stopped on their way to buy tortilla. So he was going across to get the tortilla when he was hit by the motorcycle.”


Mardocueo Monteroso

Mardocueo Monteroso, Eyewitness [Translated]

“The child came to buy, and at the moment that he left he went onto the road and the motorcycle hit him and dragged him. The persons who were here buying picked him up and took him to the bench in front of the store. He didn’t lose consciousness…just that he couldn’t cry. He wanted to cry but didn’t cry. Then the same persons said that it was better to take him to the hospital because they didn’t know if he had internal injuries.”


Voice of: Sheryl Distan

“I went to the hospital about forty minutes after the accident and he was there, but he wasn’t talking and that’s not Gerardo. He just told me that…I asked him…when I stepped in the room in emergency, he lift up his head off the bed and put it back. I asked him if he had pain and he shook his head and he said yes. He had one hand here and one on the side and told me here, like by his head. But he was vomiting blood. He was vomiting so something, his stomach got hurt…maybe that took the impact. So I told him let me pray with you and I did, but it was strange because they never opened his uniform and checked him. He was still clad in uniform. I stayed there like about maybe an hour or so. They changed him from one bed to the next, but he was still in his uniform; they never took it off to check him.”


Lopez was taken to the K.H.M.H. on Friday for a CAT scan and died early Saturday morning. The news has hit the school very hard.


Voice of: Sheryl Distan

“We always hear about handyman, he was a handyman in the form of a boy. He was only nine, but he was the student that would see you raking leaves and he would go and get a rake. If you are taking stuff from the vehicle to go into the school, he would be the one to help you. Last Wednesday—because we are in the process of getting two new classrooms—he was the only student…he saw the teachers working and he stood on the side a while and he looked and he started to help us carry boards and clean up all the rubbish that stayed behind after the construction of the classrooms. That was Wednesday and then on Thursday he had the accident.”


Various persons we spoke to said that the man on the motorcycle did not stop, even when an onlooker set chase to try to get a look at the license plates. Strangely, the police could not confirm or deny that, or even tell us how the cyclist ended up in police custody where he was charged.


ASP Selvyn Tillett, O.C., Orange Walk Police

“He was hit by a motorcycle driven by one Martinez, a Belizean welder of Guinea Grass village and the child was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital where he complained of pain in the head. Later that child was transferred to the K.H.M.H. on Saturday the fifth of December at seven-fifty-seven a.m., Lopez took for the worst and died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Mister Martinez has accepted fault and so far police has arrested and charged Martinez of Guinea Grass village of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct and driving without due care and attention.”


Like with so many senseless tragedies, the clock cannot be rewound. But the grief at the school is strong, made stronger by the fact that school officials have asked repeatedly for a speed bump on the road next to the school, with no success.


Voice of: Sheryl Distan

“When he got knocked down the Thursday, right away the secretary went into our files and took out the letter that we wrote a year ago and then she quoted from that to say that one of our students got knocked down, will you all wait for him to die? We didn’t know that Gerardo would die. We didn’t think he would die. The letter is on my desk for me to sign, but I can’t sign it because he passed away. So we have to update the letter now. He died.”


Gerardo Geovanni Lopez, the young handyman student of Solomon’s SDA School, will be laid to rest on Tuesday. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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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1 Response for “Nine-year-old Gerardo Lopez Killed in Road Traffic Accident”

  1. Concern says:

    Another negligence from the Regional Hospital in taking too long to attent the little boy.

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