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May 31, 2011

Prisoners injured in highway accident; family members give a new account

We have been reporting since Friday that a van transporting prisoners to the Hattieville prison overturned near mile thirty-seven on the Northern Highway. One prison warden, Delbert McLaughlin died before reaching the hospital while a number of the prisoners were injured when the vehicle flipped several times. According to the police, two rear and one front tire suffered a blow-out. But the dust is still not settled on the accident and families of the injured prisoners have another version of what potentially went wrong.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The story of the prisoner van that overturned on Friday is still unraveling. Today, Antonia Zuniga, mother of twenty four year old prisoner, Dean Davis, who was trapped in the van, visited our newsroom and recounted the story as told to her by her son:

Antonia Zuniga Botes

Antonia Zuniga Botes: Dean Davis’s Mother

“First of all he told me that emm the fella who died ih look suh he said he said about ih tell the driva ‘yuh know like something wrong wid one ah deh wheel deh ih nuh” then the driva tell ah ‘fi true I notice already’ then ih tell ah ‘suh yuh betta tek yuh time and be careful’ and lotta lee thing to baby.”

Andrea Polanco

“What other kinda thing? Did the driver of the van make any threats to your son or other prisoners?”

Antonia Zuniga Botes

“Hmm they made threats yes. He told them if deh wanted ‘unu boys unu ready to die now?’ and things like that nuh and deh seh I nuh know what ih holla else and ‘unu ready to die now’ and ih staat to du the vehicle like yuh know ih guh suh and ih stop suh guh suh and ih stop suh many a time suh and ih drive inna high speed afta dat ih nuh.”

Did that speed cause the van to over turn? Edita Moreno, mother of twenty nine year old Crispin Moreno, says she spoke about that to the driver of the van:

Edita Moreno, Crispin Moreno’s Mother

“Sake ah weh ih di brakes and stop, brakes and  stop deh blow out three tires or two tires and ih  tun ova three time and dah den he nuh know nothing else.”

Andrea Polanco

“Suh the police officer was joking or was it a verbal threat?”

Edita Moreno

Edita Moreno

“I really cyaa know what was on his mind cause I don’t know him. But I talk to him personal in the room cause I gone si ah how ih stand to because I dah wah person weh careful. But when I ask ah ih seh ‘miss wen I get black out I nuh know nuttn.’ Ah tell ah ‘if you even mi deh play your life eena danger too’ Ih seh ‘ I know that’ but then afta that ih neva seh nuttn and then wah police come and tek we outta di room.”

But today, both mothers say that help has been slow in coming for both their sons who are badly injured:

Edita Moreno

“Right now he have wah high temperature and I know ih got infection and right now (pahn ih batty) like ih mi deh pahn the bone fi di spinal cause ih back bruk very bad and ih neck cause ih docta seh it is very very complicated.”

Antonia Zuniga Botes

“Ih got big scrape up all pahn ih back and weh di scrambling yuh know and suh ih mussie land pahn ih tail bone and ih spinal—well that bruk to.”

Edita Moreno

“We really need help even if wi cud get help from the minista. The minista deh nuh come, the commissioner of police nuh come like we just left yah like dis and  we need some help because we have to buy things and I nuh have no money. Who have deh inna dis position as government nuh di help we none at all only that I tell deh and I gone gah ask permission if deh cud help me with the bills cause dah deh have it inna deh hands. This happen with the police deh.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

The Kolbe Foundation did not wish to comment on the allegations made by the families and indicated that it was a police matter. We were unable to reach Officer in Charge of the Orange Walk formation, Joseph Myvette for comment.

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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8 Responses for “Prisoners injured in highway accident; family members give a new account”

  1. jose says:

    kolbe is all about the money if the media thinks they are going to get comments from kolbe thats 98 percent inpossible kolbe chairman jonh woods discuss the media

  2. OW BYM says:

    the mother of prisoner Crispin “good for nothing” Moreno , raised a very important question: “Who have deh inna dis position?” no dis-respect, but the answer to that question is no other than himself!!!! The talk of the town is that indeed, prisoners have admitted that the officer driving the van was swerving and playing under such high speed. If those accusations are proven to be true then he should be charged for manslaughter, along with many other charges. Anyways, going back to Crispin’s issue, I can only say that at least one good for nothing bastard is off our streets…ain’t Karma a #!+@#

  3. concerned says:

    OW BYM I understand what you say but really and truly who are we to judge….

    N yes mrs Moreno it’s you to blame for your son being in that situation , if you as mom encourage yuor siblings to steal ,kill,take drugs etc. etc…. then who do you think will help your son when we have good citizens out there that honestly need financial help to survive .Pls think of this

  4. Earl Grey says:



  5. jason says:

    Woe! OW bym!! if u only knew; most of the $#!% rage from poverty! the city! belize city!! not the other districk belize city!! Belly of the beast! not like d vilage an town who try to help each other!! Down there no!! city!! Don’t sleep!! Parents can’t get jobs to feed 7 pickney; can’t educate them; no food to give youth; no jobs!! lack of resources; where dirty cop boost war in the street an take bribe an lock up the little suffera!! Go in the ghetto of that 7 mile by 9 miles or less!! no love! Dogg eat Dogg!! Hunger brings rage!! The bible say “aA hungry man is an angry man”. Feed; clothe an shelter ur people is the job of every rulers!! Create jobs!! Its not the whole city; !@#$ n up from wat the system possess!!

  6. LIz says:

    Its really hard to have a sibling in serious conditions but as someone mentioned karma is what happen to those guys. Crispin was one of the guys who robbed a man at Atlantic bank and left him in a serious condition with a cracked skull. Now it was his turn to suffer. On the other hand, i hope that they all learnt a lesson.

  7. friend says:

    this prison warden that died is not hierd by kolbe but by the police department. Mr jeff u could atleast made the police flag be flown half mask. what a same minister of police talking about well fare of officers and what this mean when a officer dies they dont even care. this officer died on DUTY>

  8. Sugar says:

    Crispin hackjack my uncle n wife 5 years ago he broke my uncle nose n my aunt take off his mask that’s the way she got safe from been rape! N now coz of crispin my friend mr guerra is dead he didn’t deserve to die that way! So come on mrs moreno who would want to help ur son! He had been a bad person! I’m sorry to say! God had made justice 4 all the victims!!

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