Latest — 19 July 2017 — by Albert J. Ciego
Three killed in separate traffic collisions; several people injured

ST. MATTHEWS, George Price Highway, Cayo District, Mon. July 17, 2017–Three people are dead and several others are injured after they were involved in five separate road traffic collisions on the highways over the weekend.

Dead are Gilbert Romero, Jr., 30, of Independence; American student Devin Michael Merrill, 18, and Carlos Carias of San Victor, Corozal District.

The first death occurred at about 1:30 Friday morning, between Mile 37 and 38 on the Southern Highway. Gilbert Romero was driving his pickup from Independence to Dangriga when he lost control of the vehicle, veered off the road and crashed. He suffered massive head and body injuries and died almost immediately.

On Saturday morning, the second life was claimed. Devin Michael Merrill was driving his rented motorcycle from the Bocowina National Park, in Silk Grass, Stann Creek District, to the Southern Highway.

Police said that as he arrived at the junction of the Bocowina Road and the Southern Highway, he drove into the lane of oncoming traffic, on which there was a towhead truck, driven by Abraham Friesen, 35, a driver of Guinea Grass., Orange Walk District. Merrill’s vehicle hit the towhead, and he was thrown onto the road. He died immediately on the scene due to massive head and body injuries.

The third death occurred at about 8:00 Saturday night on the San Victor Road in Orange Walk District. Police Constable 240, Victor Noble, attached to the Corozal Police formation, told police that he was driving his white Ford Ranger pickup on the San Victor Road to San Narciso, Corozal District, when the pickup experienced mechanical problems.

Noble said that he put on his hazard lights and came out of the vehicle, and along with his passenger, he pushed the vehicle to the side of the road. He then opened the bonnet of the vehicle to see what was the problem.

Unfortunately, a Mazda pickup that was traveling from San Victor ran into the Ford pickup, causing the driver to lose control of the Mazda, and it ran off the road. Noble’s vehicle was knocked off the road, and it also overturned due to the impact.

Carlos Carias, 26, a farmer of Bella Vista, Stann Creek District, who was riding in the pickup, was thrown out of the vehicle, and due to the impact, he suffered massive head and body injuries. Carias was rushed to Northern Regional Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Noble and his passenger were not injured.

At about 5:00 Saturday evening, a Toyota Tacoma pickup and a James Passenger Bus collided on the George Price Highway, in St. Matthews, Cayo District, between Mile 34 and 35 on the Hummingbird Highway. The pickup was being driven at the time by Marcelino Umana, 47, a farmer of Cotton Tree; and Clyde Tasher, 56, of Dangriga, was driving the James Bus.

Tasher told police that he was overtaking a bus on his right side when the pickup, which was coming from the opposite direction, suddenly veered into his path. He said that he tried to avoid hitting the pickup, but his bus collided with the rear side of the pickup, causing the driver to lose control.

As a result, Umana’s common-law wife, Suyapa Rodriguez, was thrown out of the vehicle and landed on the road. She suffered a broken left arm, broken shoulder blades and six broken ribs as a result. She was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a critical but stable condition.

Umana suffered injuries to both ears and back. He was taken to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, in a serious condition.

No one on the James Bus was hurt, and Tasher was served with an NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution). The Toyota Tacoma was extensively damaged.

Around 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon, Jorge Rodriguez, 25, of St. Margaret, and a young woman identified as Mildred Martinez, 17, was travelling from Saint Margaret to Belmopan on a motorcycle when Rodriguez lost control of the bike and collided with the metal railing on the side of the road.

Rodriguez sustained a large cut to the left hand and a cut wound to the head, while Martinez suffered a fractured jaw, multiple cut wounds to the head and a superficial abrasion to the chest. She was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she is still being treated.

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