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Sep 27, 2022

3 Dead in Fatal RTA on the Philip Goldson Highway

Around eight-thirty this morning, news spread like wildfire of a fatal road traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway in the village of Sand Hill. As time passed, reports confirmed that more than one person had perished when a pickup truck travelling in the direction of Belize City crashed head-on with a passenger bus heading in the opposite direction. Despite efforts to rush one of the victims to a medical facility for life-saving assistance, a few hours later he too succumbed to his injuries. Three persons travelling in the pickup truck lost their lives in the accident; one of them was the recently elected chairman of Crooked Tree Village. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The vehicles involved in the traffic accident are being removed from the scene, but it was inside this extensively damaged Isuzu Dmax pickup truck that James Dawson and Brandon Gillett were travelling in when they lost their lives. Also travelling in the vehicle was Eustace Dawson Junior, who was removed from the wreckage and rushed to a private hospital. By eleven a.m., he too would succumb to his injuries, bringing the death toll to three.


Heckland Adolphus

Heckland Adolphus, Uncle of Brandon Gillett

“Dah wah thing weh unexpected so everybody still deh pan the mourning side and crying. Nobody get dehn composure yet together. But we di push through by the Grace of God. I travel the road a lot also and it noh have to be you in the wrong or the next person. It just take a small slip up and in the flash of a minute, everything is over or everybody lost wah loved one or something like that.”


Brandon Gillett

The accident occurred just after eight o’clock on a curve on the Philip Goldson Highway in Sand Hill Village. A Silva’s bus travelling towards Orange Walk crossed onto the left-hand side of the highway and into the path of the pickup truck. The telltale signs from the scene suggest that upon impact, the bus pushed the pickup truck several yards off the highway before coming to a complete stop. It is believed that James and Brandon died instantly and the Jaws of Life was brought in to extricate them. Many persons, including relatives and friends, came out and stood watch as the bodies were being removed from the scene. Sherla Adolphus, who was a mother figure to the deceased chairman, broke down saying that his father was killed in a traffic accident as well.


Sherla Adolphus

Sherla Adolphus, Crooked Tree Resident

“The only person I saw this morning was the driver, James Dawson. He passed by, morning as usual. Yo going. I tell ahn, no I di wait on a ride. I neva know this dah weh I mi wah run into this morning. It’s very sad. The chairman dad died in an accident as well. That happen when my boy was nine years old. I don’t remember what year, but my son was nine year old at the time. So right now it feel like an impact to me.”


Eustace Dawson Jr.

So how and why did the bus driver end up in the path of the pickup truck?


Jonathan Estrada, Conductor, Silva’s Bus Line

“It was a taxi fault that they stopped middle of the road. And to not crash into the taxi or kill the people that were standing there, we came off the road. But it look like the hilux got shook and he came off the road and head on. But we were going fast. It was the pickup that was going fast and ih crash into we and thing and all of this happen. I tried tell him slow down, but something like this, can’t slow down one lick. So when we done, we come off the road completely cause you can see what happened. The Hilux, the Dmax I mean, look like he got frighten and come off of the road and came into we head-on. And dah what killed them dah mostly fi them speed cause dehn mi di go haad.”


James Dawson

The trio was travelling to Belmopan for a meeting with Area Representative Marconi Leal Senior and the Lands Department. There, they were to discuss issues about livestock and securing land for villagers in Crooked Tree.  Leal Senior says that he was socialising with Gillett and his family over the weekend.


Marconi Leal Sr.

Marconi Leal Sr., Area Representative, Belize Rural North

“It’s a sad day not only for Crooked Tree, but these guys are well-known all over [Belize] Rural North so it’s a crushing blow for all of us. I was heading to Belmopan; we were supposed to have a meeting with them along with myself and lands [department] because we are trying to get more land in Crooked Tree for residents of Crooked Tree. So the chairman, these guys were working for the people, they were on the job, heading to a meeting to try to get more land for their people in Crooked Tree. So it’s very sad. When I got the message, I said mien. I had to hurry call and cancel the meeting and try to get back here to support the family.”


Heckland Adolphus

“Brandon was a nice guy. He’s a contractor. He very nice village chairman. Apparently, he dah di youngest village chairman ever ina di country. Hardworking; he had one kid, one son.”


None of the passengers on the bus, which was travelling from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Corozal, were injured during the accident. We are told that the driver of the bus has been served with a notice of intended prosecution.  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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