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Attorney speaks of civil suit against ACP Miguel Segura

On August 16, 2014, Yolanda Valencia was killed in a traffic accident on the George Price Highway. Valencia’s mother, Guadalupe Valencia has filed a civil suit against Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura who was the driver of the vehicle that hit the car in which Yolanda was a passenger. The driver of the vehicle, Yani Cu suffered serious injuries.  Segura was charged with a slew of offences including manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct negligent grievous harm and failing to alter direction to give way. He was also charged with driving with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit which means that Segura was legally drunk at the time of the accident. His criminal case is currently being handled by the Magistrate Court in Belmopan but now, as we said, he is facing a civil suit. Today, the family’s attorney, Kareem Musa explained that Segura is not the only one who is being sued.

Kareem Musa – Attorney

Our firm is actually representing Yolanda Valencia’s mom here name is Guadalupe Valencia. Guadalupe Valencia was a dependent of Ms. Yolanda as I said she worked as a vendor on the weekends and during the week she also sold food in Succotz so she was earning a very respectable income and with that income she was able to maintain the household which included her parents. So she took care of all her medical expenses, grocery, light bill all of that so she was truly the bread winner for that family so we are actually bringing a case of damages of negligence not only against Miguel Segura, because indeed while he may be personally liable for what took place that morning , he was driving a Nissan Pathfinder that is issued by the government of Belize, by the police department and so not only is there personal liability but governmental liability and that is why we have instituted the action against Deputy Commissioner Miguel Segura, the commissioner of police, the Minister of National Security and the Attorney General of Belize because like I said due to the fact that he was driving a government issued vehicle by extension they are all going to be liable under this lawsuit.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love News

“So what is the status of the claim now?”

Kareem Musa – Attorney

“We had filed the claim since the end of July but unfortunately the court is on vacation and so the solicitor general’s office has thus far entered an appearance on behalf of  all the defendants so they are acting on behalf of deputy commissioner  as well as the Compol, the Minister of National Security they are acting on behalf of all defendant so they have entered an appearance on now they have time to file a defense. They haven’t contacted me to discuss settlement so it appears that they want to defend the actions of Miguel Segura and that defense is due around the end of September when the court opens middle September.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love  News

And your client is looking for settlement?

Kareem Musa – Attorney

“No no but certainly in a case like this that it’s just so blatant and you have actual footage and there are several witnesses who I’ve communicated with who say they were on the highway that morning and they were actually ran off the road because they saw this motor vehicle being driven by Mr. Segura swerving along the highway and they had no choice but to run off the highway and so there are several aspects of this claim that show that it’s just so clear cut that I would expect that the government would reach out to Ms. Valencia and try to offer some sort of settlement, make some amends for the tragic loss of her daughter.”

Segura was also charged with driving a motor vehicle without due care and negligent grievous harm. Musa says he feels sure that he has a winning case.

Kareem Musa – Attorney

I’m very very confident in this case. Like I said, had we not had the motorist come forward and give us the location of Mr. Segura’s vehicle, I might not have been so confident but because we have that information and that evidence coming forward along with the amateur video, it makes me feel very confident in the case. If it is proven at the criminal courts because we intend to prove it at the civil courts that he was driving on the wrong side of the highway. I think that is to me the substantial part of this claim and the criminal claim that he was not even on his proper side of the highway so he is wholly responsible for the accident and if that comes out at the criminal trial which I am hoping it does then certainly he would have to be held responsible and found guilty for manslaughter by negligence because at the criminal courts that’s what he has been charged with. 

Taxi driver Yani Cu remains bed ridden. However, he has received some sort of financial assistance from the Government of Belize.