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Dec 9, 2011

Village bus accident kills 2 year old

Deep in the Belize River Valley, a two-year old girl was killed this morning. She is the victim of a terrible accident that has left a school and the entire community of Double Head Cabbage in pain. Rushina MacFadzean was being taken by her brother to a baby sitter when she was hit by a yellow school bus.  The grief of her mother, Shanda Usher, is compounded by the loss of another child earlier this year to pneumonia.  News Five’s Jose Sanchez has this report.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Tragedy hit the rural communities of Rancho Dolores and Double Head Cabbage.  Five-year-old TeJohn and his sister two year old Rushina McFadzean were knocked down by this yellow bus. The Principal of Belize Rural Primary School and students were on the bus.

Marilyn Stevenson

Marilyn Stevenson, Principal, Belize Rural Primary School

“The bus was coming from Rancho Dolores and when he turned in, the other bus that was going to Flowers Bank was on the side right here—you notice the trail is there. And when the bus turned around, I saw the two children coming that way, but they were coming very slowly. And apparently the bus driver didn’t see them coming and when he turned—they were moving very slowly—it happened like just a blink of the eye. I shouted at him; Mr. Fidel. As I said Mister Fidel, I heard a little [bludupp] and when the wheel just—everybody in the bus started crying and screaming because it happened so suddenly. The brother was holding on to his little sister’s hand—moving very slowly and without no care crossing the road and then that’s when it happened.”

Jose Sanchez

“Could it be possible that the driver didn’t see because there was another bus, a green bus, parked on the side of the grounds?”

Marilyn Stevenson

“I don’t think so because the bus was way off the road; if you notice there is the trail of the bus. And then when he came this way, he turned all the way there and then the children were coming—that’s where they lived—and they were coming that way. And when they got there that’s where it happened.”

The accident happened less than 100 yards from the family home. On this photo you can see another sibling standing watching the chaos. This road is also the entrance to Belize Rural Primary School.

Kay Smith, Teacher, Belize Rural Primary School

Kay Smith

“I thought as it was my own. So when I heard the screaming in the bus, I just got up from my seat—I was sitting in front—and I told them to open this door. I don’t know where I got the strength from but I just pull that door open and at the same time just rush out there and I saw somebody just had the baby in his hand. And I just said can I have this child? And I hold her and at this time she was crying and her foot was all in a very difficult state. And I was shouting out for nurse to come. I said call for nurse; tell her to call 911. But it was a very sad time for me holding that child out there. I don’t know where I got the strength from, but I did and ‘til afterwards in the end, when I got back in the bus I started to cry. I felt it then. I hold her for about ten minutes. After which the same guy that was holding here where the incident happened he went over and took her over to nurse because she came out fortunately.”

Jules Vasquez, 7News

“And she was conscious; was she able to understand what you were telling her?”

Kay Smith

“She was conscious, but at the time she was crying in my hands. I didn’t have any time to talk to her at that moment because I felt the pain she was feeling as well. Afterwards I saw the mother coming and she was just kneeling down on the ground there crying.”

Jules Vasquez

“How about the brother?”

Kay Smith

“Well actually I saw the little boy running to his mom. He actually got up. Fortunately he didn’t get that bad hurt but I saw one of his foot was swell and he also had a swelling in his head. So I guess he get hit as well.”

Jonathon Charlesworth

While the children were on the ground, Jonathon Charlesworth drove to the scene in his white pickup and helped the family.

Jonathon Charlesworth, Assisted Accident Victims

“I saw the child under heavy bleeding and the nurse came out and said it was just an accident. So I loaded everybody into the truck and I guess I turn ambulance and head to town. We meet the ambulance in Boom Cutoff and shift over the child that was badly damaged and followed the ambulance with the other child back into Belize City. And upon driving back home, I was informed that the little girl succumbed to her injuries.”

Marilyn Stevenson

“The front of the bus was here and they were coming from that way and instead of going behind the bus, they came at an angle like this so at the same time the bus was turning and that’s when they got hit. And they were moving so slowly. [Hmf] It is something that is really traumatic.”

Jules Vasquez

“Is this something that you all blame maybe on the amalgamation in terms of every day now children are on multiple directions on these school buses?”

Marilyn Stevenson

“Definitely not. Definitely not. We cannot blame it on any amalgamation because children have been traveling on buses for some time now and nothing has happened. But as we say, things just happened. It’s definitely not on the amalgamation; we can’t blame it on that at all, at all.”

Both buses were filled with students from either Rancho or from Belize Rural Primary School. But Rushina, also known as Tejaynay, and her brother Tejohn, were not the only ones hit. The entire community was hit hard.

Jose Sanchez

“This being a close-knit community, I’m assuming everyone knows everybody and this is really going to hit the community really hard?”

Jonathon Charlesworth

“Yes even after I arrived at where everything happened, there was a lot of young students just crying; it was sad mien.  A lot of them were crying and didn’t know what to do with themselves.”

Kay Smith

“It was a very sad situation to see what happened in the end. And it is something that we are all traumatized over. We feel sorry and our condolences go out to the family.”

Jose Sanchez

“I understand that school was called off for today?”

Marilyn Stevenson

“Yes it was because the children and they were all traumatized; and we have children from the different sites that were on the bus. We have children going to Rancho, going to Bermudian Landing and to Flowers Bank—from all sites and they were well traumatized.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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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12 Responses for “Village bus accident kills 2 year old”

  1. Era says:

    I know it is very painfull for the family but someone needs to be charged. Also was the mother very busy to send a baby to take another baby to the babysiter, seems like negligence to me what do you all think?

  2. veteran says:

    Whats worst about this accident and all the car accidents that happen around belize is that none of the family of the dead are compensated,so whats the point of having car insurance?arresting belizens who drive without insurance,etc/the whole point of having insurance is exactly for that,to pay the victim incase of a accident.someone is not looking after us belizeans.shame on those lawyers in power.they should know better.

  3. Sasha says:

    Sorry for your lost, if the mother was at home why didn’t she take the child to the sitter. children are not adults and should not be treated as such. Hope no more tragedies like this happen. Drivers should be more cautious because these are areas where you have alot of pedestrians. One thing I’m happy the child didn’t suffer too long. God is watching over you even in these difficult times,

  4. MS SMITH says:

    Dam very sad i’ve been to double head cabbage and i would never imagine this happening there,it very country and everyone knows everyone condolences to the family and may her tiny soul rest in peace she is now an ANGEL in heaven.

  5. Jose says:

    This tears my heart for I have a 2 year old too. I would never let my 4 year old take him on the street. Sympathies to the family. It was an accident that should have never happened.



  7. belizeanpride says:

    sad to read the news of this angel’s death but the blame i’d say it’s the mom where are the characters she suppose to carry out as a mom. not all the time can we blame the drivers, my area where i live the neighbourhood have kids playing on the street and the moms chating on the varandas it’s a constant negligence of parents no teaching kids how to take care of themselves from accidents like this. they are kids not adults, they need constant reminders for safety.

  8. sher says:

    The mother is to blame….she should have took the responsibility to take her child to babysitter and then take the nxt child to school. they are both babies. this will continue to occur until we implement laws that chargesparents for negligence.

  9. 100% Belizean says:

    Do not add insult to injury people! A child is dead and it was an accident. A mother have to live with the fact that her baby girl is gone. May she rest in Peace.

  10. Earl Grey says:

    Let’s not let her short life be in vain…..WHAT DID SHE COME TO TEACH US??????????

  11. Catalina says:

    My condolences goes out to the bereaved family of the little girl and also the bus driver family. Let’s not do the blame game. God had a plan and a purpose for that baby life. It should be a learning lesson for everyone. Please don’t make the same mistake. I know the driver and his family and I know that they also feel the pain of that baby death. Let’s pray for them and ask God to comfort them in this time of trial. Accidents happen and it could happen to anyone. Let’s put ourselves in their shoes and ask how we would like to be treated. There’s a proverb that says; “you never know the pinch of another man shoe until you walk a mile in it.” Don’t judge the mother, you know not what her situation is and don’t judge the driver, let God be the judge of it all. May that little Angel soul rest in peace. There’s a time to be born and there’s a time to die, it was hers.

  12. Josie says:

    This is a sad situation for all involved and they all need our prayers, especially the mother. Pray for God to give her the strenght to endure this situation. God is love and it breaks my heart when people blame Him when someone dies. Life is a gift from Him and he loves us. A God of love would not cause something like this to happen. He would not cause this mom grief by “calling her baby home”. When people say things like this others who do not know God would blame him and it cause people not to have faith. This is not His doing; Satan is to be blame. So the next time someone dies, please remember death is through sin and Satan is responsible, not God. The God of love would not bring pain, suffering and death to the people who he sacrificed his only son for.

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