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Mar 3, 2020

Cargo Truck Overturns Near Armenia, One Fatality is Reported

There was traffic fatality early this morning on the Hummingbird Highway. It happened when a delivery truck transporting dry goods and food items, collided with a pickup truck and overturned near the village of Armenia. The driver of the truck belonging to German Vega and Sons Limited, was trapped inside and perished before he could have been pulled out. Two deliverymen travelling with him were injured but managed to get out of the vehicle.  The police and ambulance arrived at the scene about an hour later; by then residents in the area had rendered what assistance they could. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A delivery truck en route to Placencia overturned along the Hummingbird Highway this morning near the outskirts of Armenia Village.  Inside the vehicle were three men, including thirty-year-old Jose Quinonez, who has since been identified as its driver.  They were rounding a curve near the junction with Agua Viva Road when it clipped a single cab pickup traveling in the opposite direction.  Ingrid Ysaguirre was inside her home when she heard a loud bang shortly after six a.m.

 

Ingrid Ysaguirre, Resident, Armenia Village

Ingrid Ysaguirre

“We were just waking up when we heard a big noise over that side, and we all ran, me, my kids, my parents, my family we ran and then we saw the truck di roll over, then ih gaan knock way yonder, by da corner by the drain.  Then my kids, I told my kids to run and see eena what unu could help.  Then my kids dehn run, my two boys and my son-in-law dehn run and sih eena what dehn could help.”

 

Inside the mangled wreck were Kelvin Torres and Melvin Ramirez, both deliverymen who were accompanying Quinonez to convey the shipment of goods to the peninsula.  In making the turn, the vehicle collided into the left side of the oncoming pickup before careening and overturning off the shoulder of the highway.

 

Ingrid Ysaguirre

“I hyah like ih crash, like ih crash into something like wahn next vehicle, but di next vehicle gaan.  And then, meanwhile dehn people di call and call, but police nor ambulance, nothing.  ‘Til bout after an hour or something police dehn start to come and then dehn come di rail up, but the man inside, two ah di man dehn come out; however dehn could dehn come out, but di next one weh stuck up inside he mi still alive.  Ih mi di talk when my kids dehn di try tek out di man but ih mi stuck up.  Dehn mi di talk to di man and di man mi di talk, but afterwards, a few minutes afterwards di man dead because dehn couldn’t tek him out until di Mennonites dehn get wahn backhoe and dehn staat to lift up.  Dehn mi di haul it, but fi open di truck but di chain mi buss and di next piece ah di truck mi buss so dehn lift it up, dehn lift up di truck and so da then dehn mi try tek out di man but when dehn mi tek out di man ih mi done dead already.”

 

Armenia Village, the first community just outside of Belmopan when heading in the direction of Dangriga, is less than fifteen minutes away.  What took emergency first responders over an hour to arrive at the scene of the accident is anyone’s guess; nonetheless, it is inexcusable.

 

Isani Cayetano

“When the police got here and the ambulance, what happened insofar as them processing the scene and what have you?”

 

Ingrid Ysaguirre

“Well nothing happened because di boys dehn and di people dehn mi done tek out di body already from the truck.  Dehn noh, dehn just noh cohn do nothing.  Dehn noh cohn do nothing, dehn just reach and start to move people and nothing.  Dehn just cohn do when dehn have to do and done.”

 

The property of German Vega and Sons Ltd., the cargo truck, damaged beyond repair, came to rest in an embankment just across the road from Ysaguirre’s residence.  Its contents were strewn across the highway and despite the efforts of officers on the scene, a gaggle of villagers from Armenia and other surrounding communities flocked to the location and began helping themselves to packs of pampers, detergent, non-perishable food items, and other groceries.  Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life, men, women, and children were salvaging anything they could have gotten their hands on during the free-for-all.

Ingrid Ysaguirre

“One of the workers, or I don’t know what he was but he had his blue shirt, he said okay unu could start to pick up… then di people weh mi di come by the highway and all ah dat dehn start to stop right deh soh and ‘til now.”

 

Reporter

“Ma’am, did you see if police officers even took stuff?”

 

Ingrid Ysaguirre

“Yes, they did.  They did.  I told them, I will take some video and I will put it on Facebook and one of them, one woman back deh soh, she’s a poor woman, right, she had a pack of pampers and a big police he came and he grabbed it and he said, no more picking up.  He grabbed it and he took it away from her hand and he took for [himself].”

 

The pickup truck which was also involved in the collision was driven by twenty-three-year-old Nathan Gomez, who was traveling along with Preston Gomez.  Torres and Ramirez reportedly received minor injuries.

 

Isani Cayetano reporting 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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