The Immigration officer was heading for Belmopan, from Belize City, when she crashed and her SUV caught fire
MILE 12, GEORGE PRICE HIGHWAY, Belize District, Fri. May 24, 2019– A fatal road collision claimed the life of Jessica Heusner, 35, an Immigration officer of Belmopan, who was a mother of two children, ages 12 and 8. She died immediately in a head-on collision with a tandem truck that was coming from the opposite direction, behind another tandem truck, which she had hit.
Heusner was traveling from Belize City to Belmopan in her SUV and the truck was heading to Belize City and due to the impact of the collision, her vehicle exploded and erupted into flames, causing her to be burnt to death.
After the flames engulfing the wrecked vehicle were put out by firemen, the remains of her body were recovered from the vehicle and taken to the morgue. She was identified by means of her drivers’ license that was found in the wreckage.
The fatal collision occurred at about 11:00 Thursday night at a curve near Mile 12 on the George Price Highway.
Reliable information to us and what we observed on the scene, as well as what we gathered in conversation with investigators, all indicate that Heusner was overtaking a vehicle on her right, when at the same time, the two trailer trucks were coming from the opposite direction.
Somehow, Heusner lost control of her SUV, which crashed into the left rear wheels of the first trailer truck, causing her vehicle to slam head-on into the front of the second oncoming trailer truck, which was travelling behind the first one.
The SUV exploded and caught fire.
Police said that on their arrival on the scene, they saw an unidentified SUV in the middle of the highway engulfed in flames; they also saw two trucks, one off the left side of the highway facing the direction of Belize City, and the other, on the right-hand side of the highway, also facing the direction of Belize City. They saw that the left rear wheel of the front truck was damaged and the rim was completely destroyed.
Firefighters put out the fire engulfing the SUV, after which they saw the burnt human remains in the driver’s seat of the SUV.
On Friday afternoon, a press brief was held at the National Fire Service headquarters in Belize City, during which Kenneth Mortis, Senior Supervisor at the National Fire Service, said that they believed that speed was a factor in the fatal collision.
The three vehicles were then taken to the Hattieville Police Station. The drivers of the two trucks were not injured, but police said that they have been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.
On our visit to Hattieville today, we saw the burnt wreck of the SUV. The front of the second trailer truck was completely destroyed and its two front wheels were not in place.
The front wheels of the truck that were on its axle were recovered and put on top of the engine of the second truck that collided with the SUV.
On the first truck, the two pairs of the rear left wheels were damaged after being hit by the SUV. The left outer wheel of the two wheels of the double wheel was missing, and the rims on which the wheel was mounted was damaged and distorted, while the other was busted, and the third wheel behind the first two of the rear wheels was also busted. Besides the heavy impact on the rear wheels, the trailer itself seemed to be intact.
Information to us is that on Thursday evening, Heusner had worked late and after work, she went to socialize with her friends in Belize City and was driving home to Belmopan when the tragedy occurred.
Those who knew her said that Heusner, a single parent, was loved by friends and those she served.
Her sister-in-law, Debbie Wade, said that Jessica was dynamic, the life of the party, and she tried her best for her two children. She was also a student at the University of Belize, where she was pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree.
Wade said that she would be dearly missed.
Heusner had written on her social media page, “Life can be fleeting …be mindful of how you treat people … Wearing a uniform doesn’t define you; on the contrary, you define how people view the uniform you wear. Receiving a promotion or an epaulet won’t make people respect you. How you treat others determines the respect you will receive.
“Don’t be so quick to ill-treat your colleagues or throw them under the bus for the sake of position. Don’t hurriedly step on others to achieve success. Don’t ever believe that the pie is too small to allow others to have their slice. There is no need to try to hold someone back so you can shine!
“If you are confident in who you are, then there is no need to tear apart another person.
People will not remember your uniform, your promotion, or your position — they will remember how you treated them while you wore that uniform. They will remember what you did to get that position. They will remember what you did with your power.
“Those will be the things that define you”.
Jessica will be buried on Thursday, May 30 in Belmopan.