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Nov 28, 2019

7 Persons Dead in Horrific Road Traffic Accident

It has been a deadly twenty-four hours on the country’s major thoroughfares where three separate road traffic accidents have claimed as many as nine lives.  Seven persons are confirmed dead as a result of the horrendous traffic accident on Wednesday afternoon along the George Price Highway, near Hattieville. Lourdes Wade was driving a red Chevy Sports Utility Vehicle, returning to Belmopan after having attended the coast guard passing ceremony with Mayra Alcoser and Edwardo Wade when she collided head-on into a white passenger van. The three persons died on the scene. The driver of the van Errol Belisle and two American tourists, Jacqueline Abad and Sara Armijo, also perished at the scene. A third tourist, Adrian Armijo Jr. reportedly passed away while receiving treatment. It is one of the worst traffic accidents to be recorded. Hipolito Novelo reports. 


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Seven persons are tonight dead as a result of a horrific traffic accident on Wednesday on the George Price Highway. This was the scene between miles eighteen and nineteen after three o’clock. Traffic backed up for miles on both ends. The two vehicles, a red Chevy SUV and a white Dodge van, are on the scene extensively damage. The SUV, mangled on the front and right sides, while the overturned van was also badly damaged. Bodies were strewn along the highway and inside the vehicles. Onlookers stared in shock and disbelief.

Forty-five-year old Lourdes Wade is said to have been the driver of the red SUV with passengers sixty-seven-year-old retired police officer Edwardo Wade and twenty-nine-year-old Mayra Alcoser. They had just attended the Coast Guard passing out ceremony and were returning to Belmopan when Lourdes attempted to overtake a car, colliding head-on into the white van carrying more than half a dozen tourists


Alejandro Cowo

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

“What we understand is that the driver of one of the vehicles Ms. Lourdes Wade she was driving en route to Belmopan and the other vehicle was coming from Belmopan towards Belize City when there was a head on collision which caused the deaths of the four Belizean nationals and the three foreigners, injuring several others persons.”



“Who is at fault in this particular traffic accident?”


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“Well it is something that the investigators are still out there determining what exactly led to the accident and who is at fault. I know we have a suspected driver and the driver of the other vehicle passed away so we are still looking to see how we will deal with that situation.”


Dead on the scene were Lourdes, Edwardo and Mayra. From the passenger tour van, sixty-seven-year-old Belizean tour guide Errol Anthony Belisle, and American citizens, fifty-three-year-old Jacqueline Abad and fifty-one-year-old Sara Armijo also perished at the scene.


Anna Banner Guy

Anna Banner Guy, Aunt of Lourdes Wade

“This is a shock to the family. This is really horrific. It is a tragedy that we cannot prepare for adequately. We really have to just think about the impact that they have made not just on the family, but on the community and by extension the country. They have both serves tremendously to Belize. Lourdes, I call her a perfect blend between her mother who was so compassionate loving and kind and her father who was more militant and disciplinarian and that produced a strong character in Lourdes but well balanced. Edwardo was a well-respected father, husband and community person but more importantly as his role as the former assistant commissioner of police. He was well respected by all ranks in the police department and that same respect he takes into his home and community.”


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“Yes he was a retired police officer but he was still one of us. He has served this country for many years and he has given most of his life to this department so of course we feel it for the family and we are with the family.”


On the Phone: Luis Carlos Alcoser, Cousin of Mayra Alcoser

“The whole family right now is in a mess. We are devastated. We did not expect it. I mean you never expect death. You never expect that to happen to such a beautiful person, to such a young person with her entire future ahead of her. What can we say? The entire Orange Walk, Belmopan, the Alcoser family, the Escalante family are really devastated with this loss. We are torn to pieces. We will continue to remember Mayra as being a very vibrant, outspoken, intelligent, beautiful, heart of gold kind of person because she was small in body but she was big in heart. She was the life of the party. She always used to lend a helping hand. She was always willing to listen to you, speak to you. She kept unity within the family. She was always around. She was that cousin that everybody looked forward to seeing whenever we had family reunions or just on a weekend that she would come around.”


Errol Belisle is a well-known tour guide and was behind the wheel of the white van.


John Pollard

John Pollard, Tour Operator

“He was a man of discipline. That is the first thing. He was a man who been tolerate a lot of crap as so to speak. Errol had gotten in an accident two, three years before where in the same line but that didn’t kept Errol down. He was a hard worker. He was an honest person. For us out here, we felt is a lot for Errol. Although he was working for pen of the companies on the inside at the time of his death, he was still a member of any of these associations in the outside. So he was well known.  Errol in my view put his own life on the line yesterday when his vehicle was hit. Errol turned his side of the driving side into the way of the vehicle that hit instead of turning it on the other side for the tourists and the van to take the full impact. So in my view he sacrificed his life for them.”


Several other persons were also injured, including forty-one-year-old Maribel Navarro, twenty-seven-year-old David Armijo, thirty-seven-year-old Techno Panyarath, Forty-nine-year-old Anita Munagala, and fifty-three-year-old Seidhar Munagala – all American tourists. A third visitor is said to have succumbed this morning while receiving medical attention.


Rushing the injured passengers to the hospital proved difficult for authorities.


Supt. Alejandro Cowo

“The police procedure is that police are out there firstly to protect and preserve life. So the first thing that the police did was rescue those that were still alive and ensure that they are transported to the hospital. Because of the amount of vehicle that were there blocking both sides of the highway and the amount of police it was highly impossible for the police to clear all the vehicle because as the time went by more and more vehicles were just added to the line coming to Belize City and going out from Belize City and going out from Belize city causing a massive blockage on the highway.  Yes the ambulances were having difficulty in transporting the injured persons because the motorists on both sides of the road were not giving way for the ambulance to clear the highway for them to take off.”


The Belize Tourism Board today sympathized with victims’ families saying it expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the Belizeans and tourists who perished, and praying for the quick recovery of those who were injured in the accident.  The U.S. Embassy in Belize is working to provide support to the American victims and their families. Reporting for news Five I am Hipolito Novelo.


The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation today urged all drivers to be safe, to exercise caution while driving, avoid using mobile devices, obey all road traffic signs and speed limits, ensure that all passengers are wearing seatbelts, and not to drive tired or intoxicated.

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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