SAN ANTONIO, Orange Walk District, Mon. Apr. 29, 2019– Six months after Belize Defence Force staff sergeant, Francisco Paquil, drowned after his pickup fell off the dangerous San Antonio Bridge into the Rio Hondo River, the river has claimed three more lives. Paquil was driving over the bridge, going from Orange Walk Town to San Francisco Botes, Mexico, on the night of Saturday October 13, 2018, when his vehicle went over the bridge. Over the past weekend, on Saturday night, April 27, three men who were traveling in the same direction that Paquil was heading when he met his untimely demise, went over the bridge to their deaths.
Information to us is that the three men, Oscar Portillo, 21; Efrain Martinez, 21; and Kelvin Augustine, 28, all of Ladyville, were traveling in a Toyota car which missed the bridge and plunged into the river below. A man who was in the area saw what happened and quickly called police, but they were unable to save the men. After police and rescuers recovered the young men they were rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital, but they were declared dead on arrival.
A post-mortem exam will be done on the men’s bodies on Tuesday.