DANGRIGA, Stann Creek District, Mon. Nov. 13, 2017–A fatal road traffic accident which occurred just before 8 o’clock on Friday night between Miles 11 and 12 on the Southern Highway has claimed the lives of two persons, while leaving five other persons with injuries.
When Dangriga police arrived on the scene, they saw a white Toyota Corolla 4-door car with extensive damage to its left side. Police say that the driver of the Corolla was Mark Leslie, 48, and he was accompanied by his girlfriend, Myrna Vasquez, 48, and Vasquez’s daughter, Aurora Sanchez, 17.
On the scene, police also observed a green John Deere tractor to which was hitched a metal trailer which contained oranges. Police say the tractor, which showed no damages, was driven by Cesar Montenegro, 23.
Also seen on the left side of the road was a cream GMC Envoy SUV, which was engulfed in flames. Police say that the driver of the GMC Envoy was Delmar Ortega, 35, and he was accompanied by Maria Ortega, 30, Viancey Ortega, 5, and Sabido Pimentel, 20.
Police investigations revealed that the GMC was heading from Sitter River Village to Hopkins, and it was in the process of overtaking the tractor when it collided with the white Toyota Corolla, which was travelling in the opposite direction, towards Placencia.
All persons injured during the collision were transported to the Southern Regional Hospital. Leslie and Vasquez succumbed to their injuries, while the other persons remain hospitalized. Aurora Sanchez, Leslie’s stepdaughter, suffered a broken leg.
Mark Leslie, a professional tour guide for more than a decade, operated Cayequest Tours in Placencia. He would have celebrated his 49th birthday the day after the accident.
Charles Leslie, his cousin, today told Amandala that he first learnt of the accident from another relative residing in the United States. He then checked with other relatives in the country, and that was how he confirmed the report.
Charles said that on the day of the accident, Mark had been in Belize City, where he was making arrangements to buy a boat. He had already bought some boating equipment and was returning home when the GMC collided with his Corolla head-on after overtaking a tractor with no lights.
Charles said that when the family arrived on the scene, all the items Mark had bought had been stolen, along with his wallet, in which he was believed to have been carrying a substantial amount of cash.
According to Charles, this was a particularly disturbing and disgusting discovery.
Police have confirmed to Amandala that the driver of the tractor will face charges for driving without lights.