QUINTANA ROO, Mexico, Mon. July 23, 2018– The Belmopan Trojans basketball team recently travelled to Cancun in order to defend their title as champions in the 2018 Copa Cancun basketball tournament.
Unfortunately, early this morning, their ADO bus with 40 passengers was involved in a collision with a car in Bacalar that left one person dead.
Around 5:30 this morning, the ADO bus, which was travelling in a southern direction from Cancun to Veracruz, attempted to overtake another car, but crashed into a green Ford pickup truck that had reportedly broken down on the side of the highway.
The accident resulted in the death of one person, who is said to have been an employee of ADO who was also on the bus, according to a Facebook post from Mexican news website, The Merida Yucatan Bulletin. The post also stated that the employee was flung onto the highway.
Other reports coming from Mexico are that the drivers of both the bus and the pickup truck ran away from the scene.
The ADO bus line travels every day from Belize City to Chetumal, Bacalar and Cancun, and all the way to Mexico City.
The basketball team members suffered minor injuries and were treated in a hospital in Chetumal. Unconfirmed reports are that one person received a broken nose. However, their coach, Aldo Manzanero, informed the public that they only sustained a few “minor nicks and bruises.”
Another bus will bring them back to Belize today.
In August of 1971, a vehicle carrying athletes to Flores, Peten, Guatemala, to participate in games, had a horrible accident in which four athletes were burned to death. The victims were Charles Leslie, Kyrle Turton, Errol Clarke and Gilroy Buller. There were also a number of injured players.
The truck was from Guatemala and the accident occurred at night just over the Burdon Canal. A BEC lowboy was transporting a tractor, and its blade was sticking out. Reports afterwards were that the protruding blade was not lighted, and slashed the side of the truck, overturning it. The fire reportedly started when someone lit a match, or lighter, to see better in the darkness, and apparently, the fuel tank had been compromised.
In the ensuing blaze, the athletes perished in a horrible way. Their comrades heard their screams for help, but could do nothing to help them.
The athletes were never compensated for the loss of life and injuries in that terrible accident, which is still seen as one of the worst vehicle accidents ever to happen in this country.