GEORGE PRICE HIGHWAY, Mon. Feb. 23, 2015–Tragedy struck again this morning at the Jaguar Paw Road junction when an 18-wheeler towhead truck, loaded with double containers, knocked down a village pastor after the driver of the truck lost control and veered across the highway.
Belmopan police said that shortly after 10:00 a.m. today, they were alerted about a road traffic accident that had occurred between Miles 37 and 38 on the George Price Highway, near the Jaguar Paw Road junction.
When they arrived at the scene, a man was seen lying on the left shoulder of the highway, while an overturned towhead with two loaded containers was observed a short distance away on the same side of the highway.
Initial investigations revealed that Levi Figueroa was driving the towhead, belonging to Dueck Enterprises, in the direction of Belize City when he suddenly lost control of the truck, veered across the highway, and hit Pablo Martinez, 56, a resident of Frank’s Eddy Village – which is located in the immediate vicinity – who was walking at the edge of the highway at the time.
Martinez, who, we understand, is also a pastor at the village’s Baptist church, suffered severe head and body injuries, and was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, but has since been transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, where he is currently listed in a critical condition.
In the meantime, the truck driver has been taken into custody at the Belmopan Police Station.
Police told us that a urine sample has since been taken from Figueroa, who has also been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP).
Last Tuesday, February 17, a deadly road traffic accident occurred at that same location when another towhead – this one carrying about 675 bags of oranges – claimed the life of Teresa Lin Meuers, 56, an American tourist who was in the country on a Valentine’s weekend cruise with her companion, Samuel Douglas Schulte, 66, and decided to take a day trip to Jaguar Paw, a popular tourist destination located off the George Price Highway.
In that horrific incident, the 18-wheeler delivery truck rear-ended an SUV which was being driven at the time by Leon Rodriguez, 30, a tour guide of Belize City, who had slowed down to make a left turn onto the Jaguar Paw Road.
The trailer then became unhitched, overturned, clipped the SUV from the rear, dragged it along the highway, and flung it into a ditch at the side of the road.
Meuers, who was practically crushed as she sat in the back seat of the vehicle, later died of serious head and body injuries while undergoing treatment at the Western Regional Hospital.
Schulte survived, but also sustained head and body injuries, and was later transported to a private hospital in Belize City for further treatment, while Rodriguez was treated and later released from the hospital.
The towhead’s driver, Miguel Angel Arriaza, 20, of St. Margaret’s Village, Cayo District, was the only one who escaped unscathed.