LADYVILLE–The life of a young civilian prosecutor came to an abrupt end when his vehicle spun out of his control and collided with a tree in a marsh off the Philip Goldson Highway just past the Haulover Bridge yesterday, Sunday, November 2, at around 2:40 a.m.
Police reported that they visited an area between Miles 5 and 6 on the Philip Goldson Highway where they spotted a cream-colored 4-door Lincoln MKZ car with extensive damages about 20 feet off the highway, lodged in some mangroves in the vicinity of the Haulover Bridge.
Upon closer inspection, they saw Ryan Martinez, 24, a civilian prosecutor of #25 Marage Road, Ladyville, and Irene Sanchez, 22, of San Lazaro, Orange Walk, trapped inside the mangled wreck.
The officers found out, after an initial investigation, that the two had been traveling from Belize City to Ladyville when Martinez lost control of the vehicle after passing the Haulover Bridge, ran off the highway and hit a tree in a mangrove area.
Martinez and Sanchez were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where Martinez was pronounced dead on arrival, while Sanchez was admitted, and is presently being treated for her injuries.
Martinez’s body is now awaiting a postmortem; in the meantime, police continue their investigations.
Martinez’s brother, well-known basketball star, Kurt Burgess, spoke to the media today, and said that he was sleeping at about 3:30 a.m. when he was awakened by the grim news, which was like a nightmare.
In recounting the last time he saw Ryan, Burgess said, “Saturday we were chilling out almost all day. We came down to Belize to clean the vehicle; we went to the barbershop together, and we ate together in the afternoon. Afterwards, we split up and he came home like 6:00 p.m., after which I used the vehicle to bring home my mom.”
“I came back about 2 hours later, like 8:00 p.m., and he was at home with us giving jokes, because that is what he likes to do. Then, about 9:00 p.m., he got ready and went out to socialize, since earlier in the day, he told me that he was going to a get-together in Vista Del Mar with some people with whom he works”, he continued.
Burgess told reporters that he had no idea what brought Martinez to Belize City in the wee hours of Sunday.
“According to what I heard from neighbors, he had already reached home sometime after 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, but he never did come inside because I sleep in the front room and once he comes in the yard, I will hear, but they said that he turned right back and went again,” Martinez’s older brother stressed.
Burgess, who lives in San Ignacio, said that the family – which is made up of 8 siblings – was close-knit, and that they will miss “Hype Man”, as Ryan was called, because he had a knack for making everyone laugh, including his mother, who, we understand, is seriously distraught by the incident.
He also mentioned that Ryan, who had just gotten the vehicle he had been driving, in August of this year, was planning to further his education in his career as a prosecutor.