Headline — 24 February 2015 — by Rowland A. Parks
Boyd Lopez, 19, charged for Maria Knowles’ death

BELIZE CITY, Fri. Feb. 20, 2015–A teenager who wreaked havoc in an area between Water Lane and Bagdad Street early Wednesday afternoon, when he lost control of a Toyota Highlander SUV and mowed down a retired educator a stone’s throw from her home, was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court this morning on a slew of charges for which will be tried on indictment.

After two nights in police custody, Regent Street resident Boyd Lopez was arraigned before Magistrate Herbert Panton.

Panton explained to the 19-year-old that he did not have to enter a plea on the charges, because they will be heard in the Supreme Court.

Lopez was charged by police with causing death by careless conduct and manslaughter by negligence in connection with the death of Maria Knowles, 70, a retired educator.

In addition, Lopez was also charged with driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, driving a motor vehicle while not covered by third party risk insurance and driving a motor vehicle without being the holder of a valid Belize driver’s license.

The court prosecutor, Corporal Kennard Clarke, did not object to the granting of bail for Lopez and Panton released him on a $5,000 bail plus one surety in the same amount.

Lopez is scheduled to return to court on April 17, 2015.

On Wednesday, February 18, around 1:30 p.m. Lopez was driving a Toyota Highlander belonging to his employer, Xin Hua Zhu, at high speed on Bagdad Street, coming out of Water Lane, when he mowed down Maria Knowles.

Knowles was raked off the left hand side of the sidewalk by the out-of-control SUV and suffered massive head and body trauma, leading to her death early Thursday afternoon, February 19, while she was undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

After hitting Knowles, the still out-of-control SUV tore out two water mains then drifted across to the right hand side of Bagdad Street, where it slammed into a parked Mitsubishi Montero, extensively damaging it when it pushed it about 50 feet from where it was parked, then reached a stop a few feet from Knowles’ home.

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