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6 die in 5 road accidents

BELIZE, Mon. Mar. 25, 2019– Five fatal road accidents occurred over this past weekend; three of them involved motorcycles, and four people lost their lives. In the other two accidents not involving a motorcycle, two people died.

The first motorcycle accident happened on Friday night, March 22, sometime after 7:15 p.m. in Scotland Halfmoon, Belize District. The victim, Vladimir Antonio Aguilar, 28, a carpenter from the same village, was driving a motorcycle when he was hit by a car coming from the opposite direction.

The driver of the vehicle, a Silverado pickup, was Brian August, 48, a resident of Belmopan, and he told police that he was travelling from Scotland Halfmoon towards the Burrell Boom junction when he tried overtaking a car in front of him. In the process, he heard a noise, and realized that someone was under his car.

Unconfirmed reports from eyewitnesses said that Aguilar’s motorcycle did not have lights, so it was possible that August did not see him. A blood sample was taken from August, and he was served with an NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution).

The second motorcycle accident took the lives of a married couple. On Saturday, March 23, around 6 p.m., Abraham Penner, 51, and his wife, Irene, 48, were riding a motorcycle on Route 40 in Spanish Lookout, Cayo District, when they were hit from behind. The van that hit them was being driven by Gerhard Penner, 85, who, police say, is related to the couple.

The couple was flung from the motorcycle and suffered head and body injuries. They died instantly.

Despite Gerhard’s age, police say he did not seem to be incapacitated in anyway, including concerning his eyesight. Samples were taken from him and he was also served with an NIP.

The last motorcycle accident happened yesterday evening, around 6 o’clock, involving another couple. Walter Loyo, 28, was driving a motorcycle towards Hattieville from Belize City, and his girlfriend, Zinnia Ayala, 20, was riding pillion when Loyo reportedly lost control of the motorcycle at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway, near a roundabout that is being constructed.

The motorcycle then crashed into a cement barrier that was being used to block off the part of the road where the construction was being done. The passengers were flung off the motorcycle and suffered various injuries.

Ayala died on the spot, while Loyo was rushed to the hospital, where he currently remains in a critical condition.

According to the police, only Loyo was wearing a helmet, and there are reports that he was speeding on the motorcycle.

In the other two fatal road accidents, Carlos Larios, 26, was the first to die. Police said that at about 9:30 Friday night, Larios was walking on the Hummingbird Highway between Miles 25 and 26 in Valley Community, and as he was crossing the road, he was knocked down by a vehicle being driven by Heinrich Froese, 51, a driver of Blue Creek, Orange Walk District.

Froese told police that he was traveling to Belmopan and on his arrival in the area, a man crossed the road in front of him, and he tried to maneuver to avoid hitting the man, but he was unable to avoid him.

Larios suffered massive head and body injuries and died almost immediately.

A blood sample was taken from Froese, and he was issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.

Larios’ cousin said that he had just got off the James Bus, which he rode from Belize City to the village, and as he was walking across the road, he was hit by a vehicle. His cousin alleged that the vehicle was being driven at high speed.

ACP Joseph Myvette said that due to the impact, Larios was hurled about 25 feet into the bushes. The driver stopped to render assistance, but the residents became aggressive with him and he drove to Belmopan police and handed himself in. Police took him back to the scene, and began their investigation.

Larios’ cousin said that although no lights were on the road in the area, the road is under construction and warning signs are erected, warning drivers to slow down. The cousin said that if driver was not speeding he would have seen Larios and would not have hit him.

The second death occurred at about 6:30 yesterday evening, Sunday. Police said that Jose Marquez, 16, was riding his bicycle on the Southern Highway when on his arrival near Mile 20, he was knocked from behind by a vehicle that was being driven at the time by William Burke, 28, of Dangriga.

Marquez suffered massive head and body injuries and died almost immediately. A blood sample was taken from Burke to see if alcohol above the legal level was present in his blood at the time of the accident. He also was issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.

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