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Dec 19, 2019

Traffic Fatalities Spike in 2019

Aside from homicides, loss of lives due to traffic accidents was a main cause of death during the year. Tonight News Five’s Isani Cayetano revisits those horrible accidents, in which so far more than seventy persons have succumbed. Here is that story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Road traffic fatalities in 2019 have claimed the lives of many.  The number of casualties from accidents along Belize’s major thoroughfares is alarming.  The deadliest of them all was recorded on November twenty-seventh, when seven persons perished in a two-car pileup along the George Price Highway.  Lourdes Wade, along with her father and sister-in-law, was returning home to Belmopan, following the passing out of her younger brother as a recruit in the Belize Coast Guard when she collided into a minivan.  The impact was catastrophic.


Clifton Hall

Clifton Hall, Father-in-law of Lourdes Wade [File: November 27th, 2019]

“They were coming from an event, I think one of the brothers was, I don’t know if it’s a passing out but something with the…  It’s her girlfriend; I don’t know her name but…”



“Do you know how many foreigners died in this incident?”


Clifton Hall

“Well I heard it’s six people.  So three of them there and maybe three from the bus…  Three from the red vehicle and [from] the bus the other three people died, but I don’t know their names.”


The body count in the wake of the deadly crash included forty-five-year-old Lourdes Wade, sixty-seven-year-old Edwardo Wade and twenty-nine-year-old Mayra Alcoser.  From the other vehicle, four persons perished, including the driver of the vehicle, well-known tour guide Errol Belisle.


On July twenty-ninth, four passengers traveling in a Toyota Camry died on impact when the vehicle collided into a lamppost on the Philip Goldson Highway not far from the Haulover Bridge.


Alejandro Cowo

Supt. Alejandro Cowo, O.C., CIB, Eastern Division [File: July 29th, 2019]

“Police responded to a fatal traffic accident between miles six and seven on the Philip Goldson Highway whereupon arrival the 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.”


Twenty-two-year-old Leithe Bermudez and Malijah Gill, twenty-one-year-old Gian Martinez and eighteen-year-old Deandre Lamb all lost their lives after an evening of socializing on that fateful Sunday.  The frequency, as well as the number of fatalities, is very troubling.  Motorists are seemingly not as mindful as they ought to be when traversing these stretches of road.  This past weekend alone, three others perished in separate RTAs across the country, including twenty-two-year-old Jaime Enrique Williams who was flung out of a sports utility vehicle when it crashed into a lamppost in Santa Elena.


Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch [File: December 16th, 2019]

“What was gathered so far is that Jamie Williams was coming from the direction of San Ignacio into Santa Elena when he apparently lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a lamppost where he was flung from the vehicle causing his injuries and the extensive damage to the vehicle.”



“Is there any indication that alcohol may have been involved?”


ACP Joseph Myvett

“At this point we do not know but that will be determined at the post mortem where blood will be extracted from him to determine that.”


At the end of November, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams commented on the spike in fatal RTAs and also mentioned that there will be a campaign launched by the police department to enforce traffic laws along the highways.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police [File: November 29th, 2019]

“We are seeing that the traffic fatalities on our highways are becoming more and more prevalent.  It may have a lot to do with the highways and drivers driving in such a way that they are not paying much due care and as they should.  We will be embarking on a campaign starting today where we will have enforcement on the highways.  We do believe that the time has come that we need to go back and play a more active role in traffic enforcement.”


The aggregate number of fatal road traffic accidents this year exceeds seventy.  The effectiveness of the department’s campaign is yet to be measured. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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