All the victims were young men from Belize City, aged 18-22
BELIZE CITY, Mon. July 29, 2019– Shortly before 7:00 p.m. yesterday, Sunday, a white Toyota car was involved in a massive accident on the Philip Goldson Highway between Mile 6 and 7. The driver reportedly lost control of the small Camry, which careened out of control before it tore down a concrete lamppost and broke in two. The vehicle’s occupants were flung out onto the highway and in the nearby bushes.
The Sunday evening traffic came to a stop as bodies and debris littered the highway.
Gradually, word began to spread as more people descended on the crash scene. Four persons died in this horrible accident. When we arrived on the scene, a woman who had witnessed the accident told our newspaper what she saw.
Pointing to two bodies which lay almost in the center of the road, she continued. “There are two more bodies in the bushes and one person was rushed to the hospital,” she said.
Police have confirmed the identity of four Belize City men who perished in the accident. They are Leith Bermudez, 22; Deandre Lamb, 18; Gian Martinez, 21; and Malijah Gill, 22. The only survivor is Allison Stevenson. Police have not yet said who the driver was, and none of the men’s families wanted to speak with us.
Initially, four persons were travelling in the car, but upon reaching the airport road’s junction with the highway, they picked up a hitchhiker, who lost his life.
Assistant Superintendent Alejandro Cowo told the media today, that yesterday, police went to the scene of an accident on the Philip Goldson Highway and “upon arrival, they observed two bodies in the middle of the highway not far from the vehicle; and two other bodies were in some bushes not far from the vehicle.
“The vehicle was a white Toyota Camry which was actually cut in half after it hit the lamp post and as a result, the persons suffered severe injuries to their bodies. One more person was transported to the hospital, Allison Stevenson, where he was admitted and discharged,” Cowo said.
ASP Cowo was asked if speed was a factor in the cause of this accident. He opined that speeding may have been a factor and he appealed to drivers to stop speeding on the highway, especially on the portion between the Haulover Bridge and the airport junction, which had just been upgraded..
The police cannot be everywhere to stop speeding drivers, he said.
ASP Cowo explained that a post-mortem exam will be done on the four bodies and samples will be taken from blood and will be analyzed to determine if alcohol above the legal limit was in the travelers’ blood.
“I was made to understand that the driver just turned himself in to the Ladyville Police Station”, ASP Cowo added.
The men were returning to Belize City after spending a part of the Sunday outside the city.
The eyewitness with whom we spoke on the scene, told us that she was traveling behind the vehicle when the accident occurred.
“I just saw sparks fly from under the car, and suddenly, the car flipped over,” she said.
The sparks that the eyewitness described are consistent with the theory that the car suffered a blowout that made the driver lose control of the car. The side of the vehicle hit the lamppost, which caused it to break in two pieces.
“I didn’t see when the car hit the lamppost. You know, like you are watching, but you are not believing what you are seeing,” she said.
The eyewitness, who lives in New York and is visiting relatives in Belize, explained that she knows a little CPR. “So I went and did CPR on one of the guys, who was still alive, but the other guy was already dead,” she said.
“The other guy who was still alive was taken to the hospital,” she said, adding, “They didn’t hit anybody.”
She added that the two men who were lying almost in the center of the road were dead. No emergency response from either the police or the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) had arrived when all this was transpiring.
Darkness had settled and, as she spoke with us, pointed in the direction of the two halves of twisted metal that were once a Toyota Camry car and said that two more bodies were in the bushes. They had not been moved as yet.
By this time, police had marked off the accident area with yellow crime scene tapes, and the Sunday evening traffic was stretching closer to the Haulover Bridge, because nothing could move in either direction from the accident scene.
It was not until about 8:30 p.m. that the two bodies near the center of the highway were moved and put in the open back of a police pickup truck.
The other two bodies from near the broken car were collected and dumped inside the pan of the police pickup. Nothing was put on the four bodies that were just dumped in the back of the police pickup that took them to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.