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Nov 23, 2017

C.E.O. Errol Gentle Says Don’t Blame the Road or Bridge for Accident

Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, Errol Gentle, says that neither roads nor bridges are to be blamed for the fatal accidents that happened between miles thirty-one and thirty-two in Saint Margaret Village over the weekend. Four men died at the same spot along the Hummingbird Highway and relatives believe that the deteriorating highway and dilapidated bridge may have contributed to the traffic accidents. The C.E.O. says that he sympathizes with the grieving families, but neither roads nor bridges are the cause of accidents, and that drivers must take responsibility. Here is how he puts it:


Errol Gentle

Errol Gentle, C.E.O., Ministry of Works

“I felt extremely badly about it but I also think that we need to be very careful as drivers. We continue to upgrade the highway and every time we upgrade the highways, we continue to have accidents because of speeding or some driver error. To be quite honest, a road or bridge don’t cause accidents. It is the driver; either a driver mistake or some mechanical problem because of the vehicle. Because a road or bridge don’t cause an accident. The driver supposed to be driving taking in consideration the type of road he is on; if it is raining then you are supposed to drive slow, decrease your speed; if the road is rough then you need to drive slow because you don’t want to be driving and dodging potholes and crash into somebody or going into somebody else’s lane; if it is foggy in the morning or if it is raining you decrease your speed if you don’t know the highway.    The first accident coming from Dangriga I saw exactly where the vehicle start running in the gravel and that was before the bridge and also with the second one I also saw where the brakes marks were and that was before the bridge. If it was a two-lane bridge then there wouldn’t have been an accident because the bridge would have been wide enough. But it is a one-lane bridge so you will drive considering there is a one-lane bridge and you can’t be coming too fast so you have to be slowing down before you get to the bridge. So, whilst I sympathize, I am human being and I have a heart and I sympathize with the families but the bridge did not cause the accident.”


Andrea Polanco

“But they believe that it may have contributed to the accident?”


Errol Gentle

“People cause accidents. Roads and bridges don’t cause accidents. Now, if they went on the bridge and the bridge broke in then I would have taken full responsibility; the Ministry of Works and the Government of Belize.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, if you have loose gravel and that send your vehicle off the road?”



Errol Gentle

“There was no loose gravel in the middle of the road. That gravel had already set. The pavement was set and the thing is the road is wide and you want to speed because it is a good road and that is what it is.”


Andrea Polanco

“No potholes?”


Errol Gentle

“None. Absolutely no potholes. None. All the highways we have rehabilitated so far, people are speeding. My sister Ministry, the Department of Transport they have their hands full. I am certain that maybe if we had a bit more patrolling out there maybe it might not have avoided that accident but maybe it would have serve as a reminder, a deterrent to other motorists.”

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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2 Responses for “C.E.O. Errol Gentle Says Don’t Blame the Road or Bridge for Accident”

  1. Jake says:

    Two cars went over the bridge in the summer. The crash barriers were mostly missing or in a dreadful state of repair. They are clearly still missing in the photos of the accidents in November. Here in the US once we put in a safety feature such as a barrier we have an obligation to maintain it for public safety. It is unprofessional and unwise for the CEO to blame the drivers when the dept surely has a duty of care to road users or is he saying that he doesn’t in which case KEEP OFF THE ROADS!

  2. Jake says:

    Sorry I also meant to say that this bridge has been deemed unsafe in the EIA for improvements for the Hummingbird Highway.

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