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Oct 15, 2019

Billy Lerma Perishes in Fatal Accident in Santa Elena

Billy Lerma

Three persons lost their lives in two traffic accidents over the weekend. The first fatality occurred just after midnight on Friday as Billy Lerma rode a Senke motorcycle on the George Price Highway, in Santa Elena. When he reached the junction with Carillo Puerto Avenue, he was struck by a pickup truck crossing the highway from Santa Cruz Road and into Carillo Puerto Avenue. The motorcycle was extensively damaged and Lerma was left unconscious on the ground. The pickup received damages to its front bumper and headlight.  Lerma was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital by police, but succumbed to his injuries whilst undergoing treatment. The driver of the pickup truck, Paul Wagner, was detained pending charges. News Five’s Duane Moody was out west today and files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Around 12:30 on Saturday morning, the sound of a collision echoed into the night in Santa Elena Town. A motorcyclist had been hit by the driver of a pickup truck at the corner of the George Price Highway and Carillo Puerto Avenue in that western town. Minutes later, police arrived on the scene to find twenty-six-year-old Billy Lerma unconscious on the ground with severe injuries to his left leg. He was rushed to the San Ignacio Community Hospital but perished while receiving treatment.


Hilberto Romero

Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, Deputy Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“Police responded to a traffic accident in Santa Elena Town. Upon their arrival, they found a motorcycle extensively damaged and a truck also was found at the scene. The driver of the motorcycle was identified as Billy Lerma, twenty-six years. He was taken to the San Ignacio clinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Again an investigation is being carried out to determine who is at fault and whether anyone will be charged.”


The incident occurred just outside where Errol Popper lives. After hearing a loud bang, he jumped out of bed to see the victim on the ground and shortly after a crowd of residents gathered.


Errol Popper

Errol Popper, Resident, Santa Elena Town

“My wife and I heard the bang and we saw the truck and it was positioned across the road and the motorbike on the side and the guy standing over him, trying to revive him and apparently he couldn’t. They waited on the police to come and the police took the guy to the hospital and the crowd came in afterwards and there were people all over the place.”


News Five has since learnt that Lerma was a part of a group of four motorcyclists; he was to the back of the group and the last to make it to the intersection when he was rammed by the pickup truck driven by fifty-year-old Paul Wagner, who at the time was coming down the hill of Santa Cruz Road in a direction towards George Price Highway. Upon reaching the junction, he drove across the highway into Carillo Puerto Avenue, hitting Lerma. Even though he wore helmet, it is believed that Lerma haemorrhaged from the leg injury.

Popper says that a speed bump was removed from the intersection when the highway was rehabilitated. He fears that unless something is done, many other accidents will occur.


Errol Popper

“This is a crossroad and anywhere you go in the world, you have a speed bump or lights and there is none of that here. And ever since they finished with this part of the road, I told everybody that comes here, we are going to have some more accidents here and people are going to die. And I will put the blame squarely on the people that work this place because there was a speed bump there before.”


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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