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Jul 29, 2019

Quadruple Fatality on the Philip Goldson Highway

A quadruple fatality occurred on the Philip Goldson Highway on Sunday evening and at news time, post-mortem examinations have just wrapped up as grieving relatives were camped outside the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  As many as four of five persons lost their lives instantly when the driver lost control of the car. Two bodies were strewn on the highway and two others were found near the vehicle.  The small Toyota car was ripped in half when it crashed into a lamp post between miles six and seven on the highway. Family members are too shocked to comment and police are investigating whether speeding was a factor.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Just after six o’clock on Sunday evening, police responded to an accident on the Philip Goldson Highway between miles six and seven. By that time, vehicular traffic was impeded as persons traversing that area stopped in complete disbelief, while others tried to assist. It was a horrific scene as bodies were strewn across the highway while a Toyota Camry car was split in half off the side of the road. Allen Stephenson, believed to be the driver of the vehicle, was rushed in a taxi to Belize City for medical attention, but was released and is lucky to have survived the ordeal. Loved ones of the traffic victims were crying and others screaming for help.


Allen Stephenson

Supt. Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Eastern Division

“Police responded to a fatal traffic accident between miles six and seven on the Philip Goldson Highway where upon arrival they observed two bodies on the middle of the highway. One was beside a vehicle and another was in some bushes not far from the vehicle.”


A total of four persons perished on site in the fatal RTA: twenty-two-year-olds Leithe Bermudez and Malijah Gill, twenty-one-year-old Gian Martinez and the youngest of the group, eighteen-year-old Deandre Lamb—all residents of Belize City.  The video footage shows two men on the pavement motionless. The remaining two were found in proximity of the vehicle and feet apart from each other. The vehicle uprooted a lamppost from along the highway.


Alejandro Cowo

Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“The vehicle was a white in colour Toyota Camry which was actually cut in half after I believe it hit the lamppost. As a result, the persons received severe injuries to their bodies.”


According to reports, a blowout caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle which rammed into a lamppost, killing four of five passengers. Police say that speeding is believed to have been a factor in the fatal accident. They are still in the process of determining if the driver of the vehicle was under the influence.


Malijah Gill

Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“Initial investigation that we got from witnesses is that apparently the suffered a blowout and the person lost control of the vehicle and end up hitting the lamppost which caused the vehicle to be torn into two pieces.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Were they speeding sir?”


Gian Martinez

Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“I believe it had to be due to high speed.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Sir is there any indication that these persons were consuming alcohol or under the influence?”


Leithe Bermudez

Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“At this moment, I was meant to understand that the driver just turned himself [into] Ladyville police. So we have to look into that situation as when police arrived at the scene, Mister Stephenson was already being transported to the hospital. So there is nothing for us to say who was the driver at this time. I know that the post-mortem will be done on the four bodies. Samples will be taken from blood and then that will be analyzed. That will determine if they had alcohol in their system or not.”


The stretch of the highway from the cut-off to the Philip Goldson International Airport to the roundabout near Smart has recently been upgraded and authorities from both the traffic and police departments have been concerned about speeding along the thoroughfare. In light of the quadruple fatality, Superintendent Alejandro Cowo took the opportunity today to issue a caution to drivers.


Deandre Lamb

Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“As we have been mentioning over and over, we know that speeding is a problem within that section of the highway until you reach the Haulover Bridge because of the fact that you have a good road to travel. And I believe that people, the drivers, just take advantage and speed over the limit that is prescribed to drive on that highway. I know drivers have to be cautious because you are driving a vehicle which is manmade and sometimes it may have fault and we need to be prepared.  If we are travelling at a high speed, it is very difficult for us to control a vehicle.”


The incident has brought into focus the urgent need for more enforcement along the highways.


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“There are highway patrols and sometimes you see them early in the morning, in the evening and sometimes late in the night. But you know we cannot be everywhere; that is the problem. I know that yes on that day they had patrols within Belize City and also in other parts of Ladyville, but unfortunately at that time, they didn’t have any on that part of the highway.”


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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