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Mar 18, 2016

A Couple Remains Hospitalized Following Near Fatal Road Traffic Accident

A young couple from Belmopan is in critical condition at the Belize Medical Associates after a three-vehicle pileup on the George Price Highway on Thursday afternoon. Marlo Chavarria and his wife Marie Nicole were heading home when their black Jeep SUV collided into a Freightliner dump truck towards Belize City. The massive impact damaged the truck but ripped and mangled the much smaller sports utility vehicle. The situation was made worse by an ambulance slamming into the rear of the truck as it tried to evade the oncoming SUV, and the resulting wreckage blocked traffic for more than a mile on either side. Mike Rudon was on the scene and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Vehicle parts strewn all over the George Price Highway and on both shoulders of the road – from crumpled fenders to barely recognizable sections of engine and transmission – bear testimony to the massive impact which sent this Freightliner truck into the guardrail on one side of the road and ripped apart this black Jeep SUV on the other side. The accident happened on a stretch of road near mile eleven just before two in the afternoon.


Keith Clarke

Sgt. Keith Clarke, Acting O.C., Hattieville Formation

“Initial investigations reveal that the driver of the black SUV, one Mr. Marlo Chavarria apparently clipped the front of the dumptruck causing it to careen into the guardrail.”


Isaac Usher, Driver of Dump Truck
“Me and a truck just loaded at the pit. We came together and coming along the truck went ahead and I started to pick up speed. I saw a black vehicle coming from the opposite direction came over in my lane. I tried to avoid it by going off more but as you can see I couldn’t go off any more because of the rail and the vehicle came and hit me. When he hit me he took me off on the side of the rail and the ambulance behind me came and pushed me off too.”


The entire front end of the truck was torn off, but the SUV took the worst hit in that inadvertent game of chicken.


Sgt. Keith Clarke

“The occupants of the SUV, Mr. Chavarria along with his wife Ms. Nicole Chavarria was tossed out of the SUV and they landed on the shoulder of the highway. They were subsequently assisted by the driver of the ambulance, Mr. Lammey. Thereafter ambulances arrived at the scene and both were taken to the Belize Medical Association where they still remain.”


Isaac Usher
“The driver flew out of the vehicle. He was in the water along with the passenger. It was a male and female.”


Isaac Usher

Mike Rudon

“From what you have seen what kind of injuries did they have? Were they seriously hurt?”


Isaac Usher

“The driver looked like he broke both legs but I couldn’t see him good enough.”


Mike Rudon

“How about you…any injuries?”


Isaac Usher

“Just my left foot is swollen right now. I can’t walk good. It got stuck between the door and the cab because the impact broke the cab and pushed my foot in the hole and stuck it in there.”
The first responder on the scene was Mr. Alvin Lammey. He was actually driving an ambulance which rear-ended the truck when it took evasive action. Preliminary indications from the scene indicate that Chavarria veered into the wrong lane of traffic.
Isaac Usher
“I don’t know if he midi gaze or they had an argument. I don’t know what but he was off in my lane completely. I saw him coming in my lane but I couldn’t do anything because of the speed at which he was coming and the seconds that it happened…it happened too fast to try and avoid anything else.”


Sgt. Keith Clarke

“It is difficult to say if he was distracted. However based on my experience of travelling on the highway I can say for certain that persons are distracted on the highways in this country. We remain distracted, and that is probably the reason why Mr. Chavarria lost control of his vehicle and clipped the dumptruck. That is the impression we have gotten both from Mr. Lammey and Mr. Usher, the driver of the dumptruck and the driver of the ambulance.”

According to reports, Marlo Chavarria is the more critically injured of the two, with multiple fractures all over his body. Still, judging from the condition of the vehicle on the scene, he and his wife are lucky to be alive. 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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