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Aug 22, 2016

Lionel Hamilton-Villanueva Perishes in Early Morning RTA in Belize City

Lionel (Hamilton) Villanueva

An unfortunate traffic accident claimed the life of a popular mechanic of Belize City. The predawn accident occurred at mile four and half on the Phillip Goldson highway. A taxi driver, Godwin Panting, collided into the vehicle of Lionel Villanueva, which had experienced mechanical difficulties moments earlier.  Villanueva was killed on the spot and Panting sustained various injuries. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Many who knew Lionel Hamilton will attest that the twenty-eight-year-old was quite a daredevil.  Lionel Villanueva, as he was also known, was young, dauntless and had an insatiable need for speed.  Many also believed that the enthusiasm for wheelies on his motorcycle and riding full throttle along open stretches of road would be his undoing.  Tonight, his body lies at the K.H.M.H. morgue.  The vehicle he was driving is extensively damaged and remains parked at a precinct here in Belize City.  Hamilton was fatally knocked down just before daybreak on Saturday morning.


Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers, Commander, Precinct Four

“Around 3:05 a.m., personnel from Precinct Four were dispatched to miles four and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway where officers discovered the lifeless body of Lionel Robert Hamilton who was lying face up on the side of the road that would be on the right hand side when traveling from Haul over [Bridge] to Belize City.  Other persons that were already on the scene, including a medical [service] provider from the Belize Defense Force gave certain directions to the police as they arrived.”


According to a statement taken by officers who responded to the scene of the collision, Hamilton’s Dodge Neon had experienced mechanical difficulties and he was in the process of steering it onto the shoulder of the highway when a minivan came hurtling in his direction.


Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers

“A green van which is a taxi with license plate [number] BCD8546 which was being driven from Ladyville direction into Belize City when it collided with the Neon car, a Dodge Neon car bearing license plate BZC37030 which was at the time on the road, being driven by Mr. Lionel Robert Hamilton of a Simon Lamb Street address.  The investigation continues into exactly what caused the death of Mr. Hamilton on the scene there.  We know that the two vehicles collided and as a result flowing from that, the investigation is revealing that Mr. Hamilton, the vehicle that he was driving because I discovered that the vehicle does not belong to him, was experiencing some mechanical problem and he was in the process of maneuvering the vehicle off the side of the road.  And then doing so along with his companion, they saw this van coming and all their efforts to get off the road did not succeed.”


Adelina Cho

The violent impact of the deadly collision tore the concrete lip off this nearby culvert.  The driver’s side of the vehicle Hamilton was driving was smashed; the front bumper completely ripped off.  His common-law wife was asleep at home when she received word of the tragedy.


Adelina Cho, Common Law Wife of Deceased

“I got the message the morning, after seven I believe, because I was waiting for him because when he goes out sometimes and parties, he usually comes home and he hurry rushes and bathes and gets ready for work because he has work at eight o’clock.  So I was just waiting for him and when I heard the knock I thought it was him.  And then when I heard that it was the police looking for me and I thought he did something wrong.  Then when I got the message I couldn’t believe it.”


The ominous message delivered to Adelina Cho was that the employee of AQ Auto Rentals had perished on site.


Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers

“The investigation is still ongoing.  The wreckage on the scene has revealed some direction that the police are following up.  Currently officers are at the Karl Heusner witness the post mortem that is ongoing and that we hope will assist us further in our investigation.  Also, we’ve gotten the motor vehicle inspectors to look at the vehicle keenly to see what happened to cause the accident.”


Isani Cayetano

“Can you guys determine at this time point whether or not the driver, Mr. Panting may have been under the influence of alcohol and was he speeding?  What are some the factors?”


Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers

“My officers, from the impact on that piece of highway, what I observed personally, was that speeding was a factor in the collision.  Furthermore, at that time the road was dry and there was no other traffic on the road from what persons are saying who came up on the scene.  The only two vehicles at that time was Mr. Panting’s and Mr. Hamilton’s vehicles.”


Hamilton leaves behind a son.  According to his common-law wife, she always warned him about speeding.


Adelina Cho

“He loves speed, yes, he does love speeding in motorcycles.  I know he likes to do wheelies a lot.  But when I talk to him about speeding he said he knew where to speed and where not to speed.  That’s what he always told me, because I told him every time don’t speed because we have a child and we need you around for him.  That’s what I always told him. I just want to find out whoever knocked him down.  I just want him to help me with his burial and with his son in any way they could you know, because I haven’t gotten the person’s name and I don’t know who he is but if he could come forward I will greatly appreciate it.”


The driver of the vehicle has since been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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 “Lionel Hamilton-Villanueva Perishes in Early Morning RTA in Belize City”

  1. Jahson says:

    Let me get this right-a mechanic who liked to go party then work on cars. A mechanic whose owner gave it to him to fix and mechanic, while probably sleepy, overlooked something then took it on joyride where he ended up dead? And whats up with that shoddy and weak cement work? who was contractor?

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