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May 27, 2011

Prison bus flips at Mile 37, officer dies while inmates trapped

There is crisis in the transportation industry; we will have full coverage of today’s events. But we start tonight with an accident on the Northern Highway. A News Five team returning to the city was first to reach the scene of the accident near Mile thirty-seven. A van traveling to the Hattieville prison carrying thirteen prisoners escorted by police and prison officials careened off the highway and flipped several times before coming to rest on its side. Some of the prisoners were trapped and badly injured while others fled the area but were soon recaptured. The police officers were also seriously hurt but it was prison warden, Delbert McLaughlin, who lost his life in the accident.  We are not certain what the extent of his injuries were but News Five was made to understand that the officer succumbed to his injuries shortly after being transported to the Northern Regional Hospital.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has a report on the events that unfolded immediately thereafter.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Trapped inside the cage of this secured prison van are two inmates who are seriously injured.  Attempting to pry open the reinforced door is a Good Samaritan who happened to be among the first respondents to the violent accident.

He finally gets the door open.  Closer examination of the metal frame which it was locked on reveals the blood of several passengers who were incapacitated in the mishap.

The prisoner, inmate number one as we’ll call him, now being removed from the wreckage complains of acute back pain.  Those around him fear he’s paralyzed.  He is dragged out nonetheless and placed on the ground near the vehicle.  He appears to be disconcerted and amidst his babble he’s asking for someone to call an ambulance.

Elsewhere residents from neighboring Rhaburn’s Ridge have responded to the scene to render assistance.  They are trying to turn the van right side up in an attempt to rescue the remaining convict trapped inside.  Behind the gridiron door he is also complaining of injury to his lower back as he moans in discomfort.  With great effort they are able to return the vehicle to its upright position as it comes crashing down on all four wheels.  The inmate inside wails in pain as again the shirtless Samaritan and a police officer are trying to free him from the cage.

His outstretched body lays across the bloodstained seat, his moans consistent.  Outside the other inmate who was placed on the ground moments earlier is being carried to a waiting vehicle.  The pickup is being loaded with injured prisoners.  Among them is this man a condemned murderer.  His head is bleeding profusely.  With his shirt he has tied an improvised tourniquet to slow the hemorrhage.  The vehicle takes off toward Orange Walk Town where they are being transported to the Northern Regional Hospital.

Inmate number one is being placed on a stretcher and lifted into the pan of another pickup.  His colleague, inmate number two, is being lifted by a team of police officers and firemen as he is also carried to the truck.  The two are placed side by side before heading north for emergency treatment.

At news time, most of the prisoners remain hospitalized.

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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17 Responses for “Prison bus flips at Mile 37, officer dies while inmates trapped”

  1. Ms. Bumbastic says:

    sooooo sad to hear about that men my sympathy too the family of the officer that pass away.

  2. brads says:

    17 people in a van = overcrowding.

    Unsafe equipment = bald left rear tire

    I’ll bet you the shocks are shot and the brakes no good too.

    Innocent people suffer and die.


  3. BIG MAN says:


  4. friend says:

    this officer was not hierd by the prison deptment he was a serving member hired by the belize police deptment. mr commissioner atleast u could have made the police flag be at half mask. total disrespect.

  5. shiela says:

    hey jus wnt to say tht im really hurt fr wht happen to my brother an the rest of the prisones an to the man tht last his life an they should do sumthin bout it fine out wht happen cause

  6. Drama says:

    R.I.P Del B (prison officer) this was one of few prison officers who in my eyes never mistreated a prisoner. Countless times when being locked up i would ask him to deliver messages to my relatives after work which he did, and when being locked up for 3 to 4 days without taken a shower the moment he shows up and we would request no more than 5 mins would pass by and he would let each prisoner take a shower and catch a couple moments of fresh air before getting locked up again. Many prisoners would never escape when he was on duty so they waited until he was off.That is the kind of respect prisoners had for this officer. Because of your heart Del b we know you are in a good place bro…….later


    Is it possible that the prisoners tried to jack the van to escape going to prison?
    The cause of the accident will be a tire blow out, or lost of control of the vehicle
    But In any situation a prison warden is dead; too bad all the prisoners escaped with their lives, could have SAVED some tax money for something more important

  8. Justice says:

    Guess the Wrong person died. Some taxpayers money would have been saved. Pity all the leaders of the gangs were not in there!

  9. JG says:

    this story mek i wish da mi the whole prison flip, and all teh prisoners eenside mi dead. too bad the officer died tho. real sad. maybe the bus wasnt in perfect condition, but ive said it before and ill say it again, and ill keep saying it until something is done. government needs to fix our highways. widen teh road, cover those W I D E areas on the sides covered with gravel. where will pedestrians and cyclists go????? pave over the drains, cut the high bush on the side and make sidewalks and bike paths. i know i know, cyclcists will NEVER use the bike path and still ride their bikes against traffic,but at least teh pedestrians dont have to walk on the road/street where in the dark of night (no reflectors/lamp posts on the highway) they wont get knocked down like ray lightburn, albeit, he was drunk. i dont think politicians realie, because they dont drive themselves around, how dangerous our roads are. its become a chore, instead of a joy, to drive our car on “open” highways.

  10. YEzzii says:

    Fast and Furious 5

  11. Orange Walk Officer says:

    As an officer, I think that the driver (Orange Walk Police) should be detained and arrested. Prisoners are mentioning that the driver was over speeding in order for them to be firighten before they enter jail. Little did he know that the tires were all worn out and in the event of over speeding the rear tire blew out and the vehicle flipped. All the prisoners that were hurt should report this “insane” driver and push charges for him to pay for all their injuries.

  12. never again UDP says:

    how bout the machine that Boots buy and boast bout on TV that is to paint lines on the road. where are the goods and services Boots, you promise to pave Central American Blvd with hotmix for the past 3 years, you forgot your septic tank project as you got into office. Boots is a hussling thug!!! who is partly responsible for all these highway deaths…

  13. twoside to a story says:

    be careful officer it could be you and you may not live to tell the story. dont be quick to judge if you were not there. wtf. you know that the vechiles that you guys drive is not in the best of shape. the accident could have been worst i thank God that others did not loose their life. my heart goes out to the family of the officer that died but who are we to judge. i pray that u driver and the others will recover very soon and that you the driver find favor with God and every arrow pointed at you return to its sender. they say who feels it knows it. you can talk $#!% orangewalk officer sleep with your own eyes.

  14. Nini says:

    Hi i agree with you 100% twoside to a story. Take care now have a nice day .

  15. Moron Country says:

    Darwinism failed; damnit, this would have been such great pleasure for me to see scum disappear, police and prisoners, my tax money can be used for better things. Kiss my bunghole to who no like what i said and ram yo mumma.

  16. crimepays says:

    tragic these cops are arrogant.The driver I mean yeah im out.

  17. ana says:

    such pity that after two years and three months, the government nor the police department have made any to compensate the family of the officer who had served them for twenty five years. you are right. no respect. had it been one of the government officials family, justice would have been served immediately.

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