by Charles Gladden
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 30, 2023
Over the weekend the nation witnessed a number of road traffic accidents in different parts of the country, some resulting in major fatalities. One vehicular accident that went under the radar of the local media was a collision at the divider near the Sir Manuel Esquivel Overpass on the Philip Goldson Highway.
A social media post made on the night of the accident, Saturday, November 25, shows a grey Toyota 4 Runner that collided with the divider from the direction heading out of town towards A&R. The vehicle penetrated through and halted in the middle of the other side of the road entering Belize City with extensive damages to its front portion, and leaving the galvanized piping partition twisted out of shape and in need of extensive repair.
While reports at the time didn’t disclose any other additional information, police sources told Amandala that the driver of the vehicle was one Lynsford Flowers, 43, a baker of George Street. He was driving around the Flag Monument roundabout onto Philip Goldson Highway when it appears he lost control of the vehicle and collided with the divider.
That particular roundabout has become quite hazardous at night, an area for a number of single-vehicle accidents due to drivers who have consumed too much alcohol at night clubs. As our readers might remember, just a couple months ago a “dolla van” driver was reportedly inebriated and collided with the bust of Philip Goldson, which has yet to be put back on its pedestal.
“The last one before this was just before the Battle of Saint George’s Day anniversary where one driver hit down the bust of Philip Goldson – the MIDH is in the process of repairing that and getting that back up – we have some serious problems with that area. It’s a concern for the Council,” explained Albert Vaughan, Councilor responsible for Traffic Management.
Councilor Vaughn said that area has become an area of concern for the council. In an exclusive interview with Amandala, he said that it is impossible to stop the accidents if drivers aren’t responsible and drive while intoxicated.
“It’s difficult to stop. We try to ask our drivers to be responsible. If the drivers are not responsible then I don’t know how you will stop that. In the wee hours of the morning, we don’t have our enforcement officers out there. Yes, you have a couple of police patrols out, but once a driver gets behind that wheel we are asking that driver to be responsible,” he said.
“The police have to fill in that gap where the council cannot. The council has a window that it operates, and once that window is closed, then we don’t have that enforcement again. We cannot enforce it out there again. We can enforce before … but, particularly when these nightclubs are closed and people [are] going home in the early morning, we don’t have anybody out there. So, we rely solely on the police,” he added.
And with the Christmas season approaching, drivers will be celebrating their form of the season by consuming alcohol. Vaughn said that it requires collaboration with police officers to halt drunk drivers, to prevent accidents in the area of the roundabout.
Vaughn told Amandala that immediately after the accident occurred, the Belize City Council began its work in repairing the barrier for the safety of civilians. “We have already cut away the damaged part of the pipes, and by next week that area will be secure again so that people don’t endanger themselves,” he said.
It is not yet known exactly how much it will cost to repair the damage to the divider but Vaughn indicated to Amandala that all told it could end up costing as much as $40,000.