Photo: Joshua Martinez, deceased
by Charles Gladden
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 20, 2023
Joshua Martinez, 22, a popular self-employed DJ is dead, and police corporal David Griffith is suffering from a fractured leg at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, after they were reportedly hit by an intoxicated driver.
At around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, Martinez was driving his Toyota 4Runner en route to Belize City, and in the vicinity of Mile 9, near the Ladyville RC School on the Philip Goldson Highway, when his vehicle began experiencing mechanical problems. Martinez parked his vehicle on the right side of the road, and called Griffith to assist him. While the men were working on the vehicle, Manuel Ramos, 52, who was heading toward to Belize City, drove his vehicle off the road and collided with the driver’s side of Martinez’s vehicle. Martinez was seated in the driver’s seat and he was killed instantly, while Griffith was severely injured.
Kesha Zuniga, the aunt of Martinez, told local reporters that she received the call about her nephew being killed on her birthday.
“I received a call from my sister at 5 o’clock in the morning, and I said to myself this is not a birthday call because nobody will receive a call at 5 o’clock in the morning. When I received that call at 5:00 a.m., and I got that news, I fell to the ground and started screaming. I did not go to the scene; I didn’t have the strength to do so because I needed to be strong for my sister,” she said.
Zuniga said that her nephew would frequently go up the highway to hang out with friends.
“I am lost for words,” Ms. Zuniga said. “That’s why I am taking my time to say what I need to say. That man doesn’t know what he did to my family … he did a lot, especially to my sister, hence the reason I am speaking on behalf of her, because she isn’t in the right state at the moment to speak.”
Ms. Zuniga described her nephew as a person who was always willing to assist people, an active person, and a go-getter.
Ramos has been charged with causing the death of Martinez. Police say additional charges will be levied against him for injuring Griffith and another individual who was at the scene.
Martinez, who didn’t have any children, was to celebrate his 23rd birthday on Tuesday, March 21.