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Dec 31, 2015

B.D.F. Officer Dies in Fatal RTA Involving ADO Bus

Artemio Mendez

A Belize Defense Force officer lost his life of Wednesday in a traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Orange Walk District. The on-duty officer was driving a B.D.F. Mahindra pickup which collided into a Mexican passenger bus traveling from Belize City to Cancun. Several persons received minor injuries from the impact, but Sergeant Artemio Mendez died on the spot. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Just before nine o’clock on Wednesday night, between miles forty and forty-one on the Phillip Goldson Highway, an ADO bus from Mexico and a B.D.F. Mahindra pickup collided head-on into each other.  Initial investigation has revealed that the Mahindra, driven at the time by B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Artemio Mendez, swerved into the path of the bus and crashed into its left hand side.


Selvyn Tillett

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

“On arrival, they observed an ADO bus from El Linea Dorada, insured with Home Protector, about ten feet off the right hand side of the highway with damages to the driver’s side. The bus was loaded with thirty-four tourists who were heading to Cancun. Police also observed that a grey Mahindra belonging to the B.D.F. was about a hundred and fifty yards from where the ADO bus was. The Mahindra was in the middle of the highway, parked across. Police observed that the Mahindra truck was extensively damaged to the front, the bonnet was off and the driver’s side torn off. Police also observed the body of a male Hispanic person. At this moment, we are investigating…we won’t say speeding, but it might have been a factor of it, but maybe also drinking. But we cannot say until we get toxicology results from the lab.”


Mendez’s body was pinned behind the wheel of the vehicle and the Jaws of Life had to be brought in to cut away the mangled metal to retrieve his body. The officer, who was on-duty at the time of the accident and traveling towards the B.D.F. Headquarters at Price Barracks, had been working with the force for over fifteen years.


Thomas Cal

Major Thomas Cal, Force Sergeant, B.D.F.

“They were traveling from north coming towards Price Barracks and the accident happened around mile forty the Phillip Goldson Highway. The nature of the incident in terms of the details, I only have the basic information because it is still under investigation. So I wouldn’t want to sort of say something different that what is being investigating on.”


Duane Moody

“Sir was he on duty when this incident happened?”


Major Thomas Cal

“Yes, they were both on duty. Both officers who were in the vehicle were on duty and they were actually heading back towards base.”


Also traveling at the time with Staff Sergeant Mendez was thirty-one year old B.D.F. Lieutenant Arjel Flores, who was transported to the northern regional hospital before being taken to the medical center at the Price Barracks Compound in Ladyville.


Major Thomas Cal

“I was made to understand that he is still under observation. He was released from the Northern Regional Hospital and he is now with us here at our force medical center. Again the injuries and so forth that he had sustained, I am unable to ascertain at this moment as the medical officers and making observations.”


The driver of the ADO bus, thirty-one year old Matias Gaspar Marcos of Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico has since been served with a notice of intended prosecution.


Supt. Selvyn Tillett

“The driver of the ADO bus immediately after the accident fled the scene and but later handed himself over to the Orange Walk Police. The body of Mendez was pronounced dead at the scene by Doctor Cervantes. Matias Gaspar Marcos, Mexican driver has provided urine sample and a notice of intended prosecution has been served on him. Police continue investigation on this incident.”


Duane Moody 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 “B.D.F. Officer Dies in Fatal RTA Involving ADO Bus”

  1. Marie says:

    Speeding will definitely cause death and serious injury. Driving under influence should carry a heavy jailtime if death and injury is received. Sorry for the innocent people.

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