Headline — 02 September 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego
Collision on George Price Highway claims 2 lives

GEORGE PRICE HIGHWAY–Two persons lost their lives and two others were injured in a tragic road collision between a Chevy Tracker and a Mitsubishi pickup that occurred on the George Price Highway between Miles 46 and 47 at about 8:30 on Friday morning.

The Tracker was traveling to Belmopan, and the pickup was travelling to Belize City, in the opposite direction, when they collided. The Tracker veered to the left lane and slammed into the truck, the impact of which smashed the right side of the Tracker and trapped the two passengers on the right front seat and backseat, who died almost instantly.

Police believe that the Tracker veered across the road, when the driver lost control of the vehicle on the curve, ending on the left side of the road. The driver of the pickup truck, who tried to avoid the collision, cut away to the left but the right front portion of the pickup impacted the center of the Tracker, causing the tragic collision.

Lenin Mayavan, 21, a medical student of Indian nationality residing in Los Lagos, Ladyville, Belize District, who was the driver of the Chevy Tracker, sustained abrasions to his elbow and right hand, a cut wound in his left palm and swelling on the right side of his head. His passengers, however — Jose Manuel Castellanos 17, of Nicaragua Street, Salvapan Area, Belmopan City, and Maritza Cruz Rodriguez, 22, a Honduran waitress, were trapped in the vehicle and died due to massive head and body injuries. Rodriguez had been traveling in the front passenger seat of the Chevy Tracker, while Castellanos had been travelling in the right back passenger seat of the Tracker, behind Rodriguez.

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Luis Romero Urbina, 67, a businessman of Belize/Corozal Road, Orange Walk Town, who was the driver of the Mitsubishi pickup, sustained abrasions on his forehead, hands, the right side of his body, his right knee and right elbow.

Both Urbina and Mayavan were transported to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan for treatment while Jose Manuel Castellanos and Maritza Cruz Rodriguez were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. The bodies of Jose Manuel Castellanos and Maritza Cruz Rodriguez were taken to the morgue, where they now await a postmortem.

Both the Tracker and the pickup were wrecked beyond repair.

Superintendent Howell Gillett, Commander of Belmopan police, said that their investigation revealed that the Tracker was travelling to Belmopan and should have been in the right lane, but it veered across the road into the lane of oncoming traffic.

The Commander said that they were operating a roadblock to monitor activities on the road, but they were not in that area at the time of the collision.

He continues to call on drivers and operators on the road to be careful and to observe speed limits.

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