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Jun 19, 2019

Guatemalan Minor Charged for Student’s Death in Belmopan RTA

Gabriella Corales

A fifteen-year-old Guatemalan boy has been charged for the death of eight-year-old Gabriella Corales.   The young man was arraigned on a slew of charges, including manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct and driving without a valid driver’s license. He was behind the wheel of an SUV that knocked down and killed Corales who was riding her bicycle across a pedestrian ramp in Belmopan. The incident happened on the East Ring Road, near Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School. Corales had left school en route to her house when she was knocked down. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports on this tragic incident.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

This morning, students of Our Lady of Guadalupe RC School in Belmopan shared messages of sympathy and “We will miss” posters in loving memory of Gabriella Corales.  The eight-year-old, Standard Two student was knocked down on Tuesday afternoon as she rode her bicycle across this pedestrian ramp, a stone’s throw away from the school. While the colours of the pedestrian ramp have faded, a sign indicating the location of the ramp is present. Her mother, Anna Ramirez, was contacted at around four o’clock.


Anna Ramirez

Anna Ramirez, Mother of Deceased

“It was my brother in law who called me and said that they need me to come to the hospital because Gaby was there but that is all they told him from the school. We didn’t know what was happening.”


Ramirez rushed to the Western Regional Hospital where she would learn that her daughter was fighting for her life. Gaby, as she was affectionately known, had left school en route to her house and upon crossing the ramp, she was struck by the SUV.


Anna Ramirez

“She was crossing the pedestrian ramp, going home from school. He hit her on her bicycle. I understand that he hit the back wheel of the bicycle and threw her right off.One of the witnesses just said that she was almost out of the ramp when he hit her but she was still on it.”


Gabriella received severe head and body injuries, including a fractured skull and ribs, as well as internal damages. Her chances of surviving were extremely slim.


Anna Ramirez

“We were told this morning that she had fractured in her skull. She had bleeding in her brain. She had three to five ribs that were fractured. Her neck had also been damaged due to the impact along with her lungs. It was like a severe one.”


Behind the driver’s seat was a fifteen-year-old Guatemalan boy. According to witnesses, the teenager attempted to flee the scene.


Anna Ramirez

“They do have the minor in custody. He will be charged for manslaughter, I think that is what they said.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Would you call that justice?”


Anna Ramirez

“I asked them to do something and just do what they need to do because this should stay like that. If it happened to my daughter it can happen to anyone else out there. This boy was very responsible as well as his parents because he should have been out driving a vehicle.”


Hipolito Novelo

“We are told that he was trying to escape from the scene but other vehicles blocked him. Is that true?”


Anna Ramirez

“Two individuals came while I was at the emergency ward, I was outside waiting and they came and they said that they had seen how it had happened. Yes, I was told that he was trying to escape but people along with other vehicle surrounded him so that he would stop.”


The driver and his family are reportedly in the process of moving to Belize. He was arraigned in Belmopan’s magistrate court on charges of Manslaughter by negligent, causing death by careless conduct, driving unlicensed motor vehicle, driving vehicles without third party risk insurance and driving without valid driver’s permit. He pleaded not guilty and was offered bail of ten thousand dollars, plus two sureties of the same amount. He has been ordered to surrender all travel documents and can only exit Belize with the court’s permission. The matter was adjourned to August twenty-sixth.

Later this month, Gabriella was to celebrate her ninth birthday. Her mother had planned a surprise.


Anna Ramirez

“I had a plane ticket for her to go with me to Houston. I would do that as a surprise for her. And my friend who lives there she was already making preparations for her party.”


Gaby will be laid to rest on Friday. Hipolito Novelo, News Five.


The minor is being represented by Attorney Hurl Hamilton.

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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