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Jun 21, 2021

Police Officer Dies in Traffic Accident in the North

Fernando Neal

A much-loved member of the Belize police department died over the weekend, leaving friends, family and the force to mourn the death of another senior officer. News Five’s Duane Moody was in Corozal today to find out more about Assistant Superintendent Fernando Neal, the status of the other victim and the men who reportedly fled the scene of the accident.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Around nine p.m. on Saturday, a fatal road traffic accident in the north claimed the life of a senior police officer, and left another hospitalized with varying degree of injuries to the face and body.


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, Belize Police Department

“Somewhere around mile seventy-six and seventy-seven, they collided into a pickup truck driven at the time by an unknown person to the police. But we know that the occupants of that pickup were two persons, two males. Those persons made good their escape from the scene.”


Armando Aban, Brother-in-law of Deceased

“He was invited to accompany one of his co-workers; as a noble person, he did that. Six minutes after, our family was called that he was in a terrible accident. In arriving, my family saw that he was trapped inside the vehicle which was one of the most traumatic events that we have witnessed.”


Assistant Superintendent Fernando Neal was travelling in the front passenger seat with Constable Didier Clavel behind the steering wheel; they were heading to Belize City where they are both stationed at precinct one on King Street. But just before reaching the entrance to Concepcion Village on the Philip Goldson Highway, a pickup truck crashed into them.


Armando Aban

Armando Aban

“He still had pulse when he was retrieved. When my sister and my nephew arrived, he reacted – he started to breathe a little more – and hence the reason, he was taken by the ambulance, but passing our village, San Joaquin, he passed away.”


ASP Neal had been working with the department for twenty-five years and is a father of a son he shares with his wife of over two decades. Fortunately for PC Clavel, he survived the ordeal and is expected to recover. He has been with the department for more than two years.


Israel Clavel

Israel Clavel, Father of Accident Victim

“He had a cut on his chin and damage all the dental part. And Ih have a cut on his elbow – well noh exactly a cut, but a fracture. Apart from that, some sores all over the body. But the most hard is the one on the chin.”


Duane Moody

“What are the doctors saying? Is his condition critical? Is he going to be okay?”


Israel Clavel

“He is going to be okay. He just needs to go into surgery.”


Didier Clavel

The driver of the pickup truck, who has since been identified as Eyder Radiel Sanchez of San Roman Village, and another man fled the scene after the accident occurred. But Sanchez’s passenger showed up at the Northern Regional Hospital for treatment of injuries he sustained. That’s when the police were notified.


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“If you are involved in an accident, if you could render assistance, you might be able to save that person’s life so the moment you fled the scene of an accident, you lessen the chance or chances of that person getting immediate attention that could be life-changing.”


Armando Aban

“To our understanding, unofficially – because we do not have that official report – the person was intoxicated. And hard working persons like him, I think the law is very lenient. In other countries, the law you go to jail, but here in Belize, it’s just a fine. And I think that has to change.  My brother died serving this country and it is so painful to see that a person that is not drinking, a person that is drinking would take his life.”


Neal is remembered by his brother-in-law and friends. Armando Aban says that even though he was sick from taking his COVID-19 vaccine two days earlier, Neal was still heading into work on that tragic day.


Armando Aban

“He worked in Corozal, in Ladyville, Hattieville, Independence, Blue Creek, Belize City, Orange Walk. The amounts of messages and texts and calls that we are receiving, police officers arriving giving respect to my sister, giving us the wonderful stories. He was a leader. To my understanding, he wasn’t a person who would rail up with a person; his staff treat him to the best.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


A funeral with full honours will be held for ASP Neal on Wednesday in San Joaquin Village, Corozal.

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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