General — 10 January 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego

Two men lost their lives as a result of two separate road traffic collisions on Monday on the Southern Highway. The men are Juan Oh, 68, of Santa Rosa, and Charles Paul Noralez, 49, of the Wagaierale area, Dangriga.

At about 6:00 Monday morning, Juan Oh was knocked down and run over by a motorcycle while riding his bicycle on the Southern Highway at about Mile 23 between Santa Rosa and Mayan King Banana Farm.

The driver of the motorcycle was Freddy Acosta, 18, a bus conductor. Oh was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, after which he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but he died shortly after while doctors were trying to help him.

Police reports are that Acosta, of San Roman, Stann Creek District, was driving his blue Meilun motorcycle on the Southern Highway, from the direction of Santa Rosa Village towards Mayan King, and upon reaching Mile 23 in the vicinity of Santa Rosa Village, he hit Oh, who was riding a bicycle in the same direction when Oh attempted to cross the road from right to left.

As a result, Oh sustained head and body injuries and Acosta received abrasions to his left knee, right elbow and left wrist.

Acosta told police that when he approached Mile 23 on his motorcycle, he saw Oh riding on his bicycle, but as he was about to pass Oh, Oh swerved in front of his motorcycle, and he couldn’t avoid hitting him.

Acosta has nevertheless been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP).

Later, at about 6:30 Monday evening, Charles Paul Noralez, 49, of Dangriga, was travelling on a motorcycle from Hopkins to Dangriga when on his arrival between Miles 2 and 3 on the Southern Highway, he collided with the rear of a passenger bus that was parked on the road, causing him to be hurled off the bike. Noralez landed on the pavement and died almost immediately due to massive head and body injuries he suffered as a result of the collision.

Noralez was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, where he was declared dead on arrival. Police have begun their investigation, but no one has yet been arrested.

Police said that when they went to the scene, they saw a red and black Meilun motorcycle, L/P DGA-M 0361, embedded into the left side of the rear bumper of a black, yellow and white Blue Bird bus, L/P# IND-D0041.

Noralez, a tour guide, was driving a motorcycle on the Southern Highway along the route to the Valley Road, when he collided with the rear of the bus, which was parked on the highway since Sunday, January 5, due to mechanical problems.

Noralez was pronounced dead on arrival at the Southern Regional Hospital by Dr. Navarro at 7:45 that same Monday evening.

Noralez reportedly was not wearing a helmet to protect his head, and the area of the highway where the bus was parked was dark.

Police continue to warn drivers to be careful and vigilant while travelling on the highways.

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