General — 25 March 2014 — by Kareem Clarke

Just after 4:00 Saturday afternoon, the life of a Honduran national came to a tragic end when his head was smashed by a 14-wheeler dump truck after he was knocked down while attempting to cross the pedestrian ramp near the bus stop at Mile 1 on the George Price Highway in Belize City.

Amandala was on the scene shortly after it occurred, and eyewitnesses told us that the victim had fallen off his black beach cruiser bicycle at the same time that the truck was approaching the pedestrian ramp, and it was while he was in the act of getting back to his feet that he was fatally run over by the vehicle, which was loaded with sand at the time.

The driver’s sideman, Gregory Longsworth, gave us his account of what transpired. He said, “I saw the man stumble and drop off his bike, and he ended up right under the front wheel [of the truck]. I then told the driver that he had knocked down somebody and then he stopped.”

Longsworth explained that they were on their way to their office at Mile 8 when the deadly incident occurred.

According to police, the victim, identified as Jose Martinez, 33, was actually riding contrary to the flow of traffic when the incident occurred.

Today, Administrative Officer at Precinct 2, Corporal Jorge Lemus, told Amandala what the police have gathered so far since they were called out to the scene at about 4:30 p.m. last Saturday, March 22.

He said, “Upon arrival, police saw the lifeless body of a Hispanic male lying face down beneath a red 14-wheeler dump truck. Our investigations revealed that Gilbert Wade, the driver of the dump truck, reported that he came to a stop at the pedestrian crossing and after noticing that traffic was clear, he proceeded to cross the ramp. After crossing, he was alerted by his sideman that he had knocked down somebody.”

Amandala understands that Martinez, who we were told was a welder who lived on Iguana Street Extension in Belize City, came to Belize about 15 years ago to seek refuge from a civil war which had erupted in his home country.

According to Edgar Cho – who has known Martinez from the time he first came to Belize – his friend’s only relative in this country is a brother who lives in Ladyville.

Cho stated that Martinez was a hardworking individual who lived alone and did not have a lot of friends.

According to Cpl. Lemus, Gilbert Wade has since been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution, and after investigations have concluded, the file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for perusal and further directives.

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