Raul Magaña, Jr., says he prayed as he watched his son taking his last breaths
Ladyville businessman Raul Magaña, Jr., 35, suffered a devastating loss when his Toyota Land Cruiser had a tire blowout at Mile 27 in Biscayne on the Philip Goldson Highway, causing the vehicle to violently roll over a number of times, killing his common-law wife and 3-year-old son who were travelling with him.
The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. on Monday when Magaña was returning from the Orange Walk District and heading to his home on Flamboyant Street in Ladyville.
Ladyville police reported that when they visited the accident scene, they saw a grey Toyota Land Cruiser with license plate BC C- 34719 on the side of the road with extensive damages.
Magaña, the police report said, was transported by a B.E.R.T. ambulance to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released. He had suffered a cut wound to his head and right arm, said police.
But his common-law wife of almost ten years, Lissa Ying Li, 28, and their son Raul Li Magaña, were not so fortunate. Lissa Ying Li and their son, who was seated in the front passenger seat, were flung from the vehicle and the mother died on the spot.
The police report, however, did not mention that apart from Magaña and his family, there were two other passengers travelling in the vehicle. Apparently, the two men who were seated in the back seat did not suffer any serious injuries.
In an interview with Kremandala reporters, Magaña explained how he searched for his wife and son after the accident, and when he found her, she was already dead. He said he watched his son gasping for breath, before he died, a few minutes after the impact.
Magaña said they were returning from a trip to Orange Walk, where they had gone to drop off a van that he was trying to get rid of at a junk yard.
He explained that his wife and son were not supposed to have been on the trip. But his wife’s family is from Orange Walk, and since they had not visited them for a couple months, “I told them to get ready and let’s go, so we could at least say hi to my in-laws,” Magaña said.
“We got to Orange Walk and did everything as planned, but we never did go to see her parents, because my wife decided to come back down,” Magaña recalled.
“On the return journey,” Magaña continued, “everyone was happy. There was nothing but laughter and smiles.”
“Right before we reached Mile 27, a feel mi car feel funny. So I said to everybody, ‘unno feel that?’”, Magaña went on to recount.
He said this was right after they passed a little curve and he began to slow down.
“I was already slowing down to come to a stop, when all of a sudden I just felt the explosion. The tire just exploded,” Magaña said.
Magaña said that after the tire exploded, the vehicle slid completely across the road. “There was a lamp post in front of me that I tried avoid hitting. But the road has a drop-off and that caused the vehicle to flip,” he explained.
After the vehicle had come to a complete stop, Magaña said, he looked beside him and realized that his wife and son were not inside the vehicle beside him.
“I freaked out; I screamed and crawled through the window. The other two guys, the two mechanics that had gone on the trip to help me out, came out of the back seat and they also started to scream for them, but we didn’t find them,” Magaña said.
His voice registered the change of emotion, as he explained, “a couple feet away, one of the mechanics found my wife in the bushes. I watched her and she mi dead.”
“Then I went to look for my baby, and when I found him, I watched my baby gasping for air right in front of me. All I could do was kneel down and hold him and pray,” Magaña went on to say.
When asked how fast he had been driving, Magaña said that by the time he had slowed down, he was driving between forty and fifty miles per hour.
“That vehicle was not something that I drive hard,” he added.
”It just doesn’t feel real. I wish it was just a dream. This just no di work. Da baby and da woman da two of the best things in my life. It just don’t feel real,” he exclaimed.
He explained that he just bought a house and that house was supposed to be for his baby, but now he’s gone.
“Every time I reverse out the yard, my son would say, ‘daddy, my house.’ I am just at a loss. This is the first time I feel completely lost,” he said.
Magana added, “My wife was everything to me. If you ask me to open a file on my computer, I don’t know how to do it. Because I always depended on her; whatever I did, she was always there to pick up the pieces for me.”
“Now I wish I could pick up the pieces for her”, said Magaña, the grief overwhelming him.