Photo: Corporal Shannon Middleton
Corporal Shannon Middleton was helping to process the scene of an accident on the George Price Highway when he was knocked down and subsequently dragged several feet by an SUV.
by Khaila Gentle
BELIZE CITY, Wed. Nov.16, 2022
The Belize Police Department and Camalote villagers are mourning one of their own this week following a road traffic accident that occurred near Mile 58 on the George Price Highway. On Monday night sometime around 10:00, Corporal Shannon Middleton was knocked down by an SUV headed in the direction of Belmopan as he was helping to process the scene of an accident which occurred on Sunday in the Unitedville area (in which Desmond Gordon, a Blackman Eddie resident, fell out of a vehicle and sustained head injuries). According to an official police report, the other officers who had been with Middleton reported seeing the SUV traveling down Mount Hope Hill, on the extreme right side of the road and at a high speed, headed towards Middleton.
The 34-year-old police corporal was hit and reportedly dragged several feet by the grey Honda Odyssey, which eventually ended up crashing into a culvert.
BERT personnel arrived on the scene shortly after 10:40 p.m., and examined Middleton, who lay motionless beside the culvert with severe injuries to his head and body, for any signs of life, but there was no response. He was then transported to the Western Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The driver of the vehicle, 39-year-old Luis Mejia, and its owner, Dillon Pommels, who had been seated in the passenger seat, sustained only minor injuries, with Mejia complaining of back pain and Pommels having received abrasions to the forehead and knees.
Middleton’s brother, Jovan Middleton, said he had been sleeping when he received a call notifying him that his brother had been in an accident. He was asked to quickly come to the accident scene, but wasn’t told much else.
“After I hung up the phone, I just felt heavy. I didn’t know what had happened, but I felt heavy,” he said.
When finally he got to the scene, he saw a vehicle on the side on the road. Not long after, he saw his brother lying on the edge of the roadside culvert.
“I turned away quickly, and I jumped and went into the drain, and I held him. He was still warm. I checked for his pulse, and he was already gone,” Middleton said.
According to Middleton, both of the men who were detained for causing the accident were known by him and his brother.
Kadesha Middleton, Corporal Middleton’s wife of five years and an officer in the Scenes of Crime Department, says that she will always remember her husband as a friendly and jovial person who never failed to leave a positive impression on those he interacted with. She was one of the officers who had been processing the accident scene before things took a tragic turn.
Middleton leaves behind a four-month-old daughter, also named Shannon; an 11-year-old son, and a host of relatives and friends.
Police have reported that on Wednesday, November 16, the driver of the vehicle which hit Middleton—Luis Mejia Guerra, a Belizean mechanic of Camalote Village, Cayo, was arrested and charged for (1) manslaughter by negligence, (2) causing death by careless conduct (3) driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and (4) without reasonable excuse, failing to provide a specimen when required to do so.