The family of forty-five-year-old Victor Martin Junior are making preparations to lay BDF staff sergeant to rest after he lost his life in Tuesday evening’s road incident in western Belize. Vejea Alvarez reports.
This is 40 year old Arali Alaya exiting the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court after she was charged for manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and failing to give way when changing direction. The charge stems from Tuesday’s traffic accident on the George Price Highway that claimed the life of 45 year old Victor Martin Jr. According to police Alaya was driving towards Belize City in a Mazda pickup truck and upon nearing Cotton Tree Village around mile forty six she made a left turn into the Mall Gas Station. That left turn proved to be fatal as Alaya collided head on with Martin who was driving in the opposite direction on a motorcycle. The collision sent the BDF solider flying into the air some fifty feet away where his motionless body was found in some bushes. The incident has shocked so many people including Martin’s family. According to his eldest sister Anna Bennet it was only yesterday that he had stopped in to visit his mother.
Anna Bennett, Sister of Victor Martin: “What my mom shared with me was that he came by and spent time with her and she said ‘Did you have breakfast already.’ and he said no and my mom said I did for the first time she made him cook his own breakfast because when he comes around she will cook for him, she will take out the food if the food is already cooked, he would never go into the pot. He started laughing because like how come mommy is making me do that myself this time and he spent time with her. She didn’t say more or less how long because I was at work so I don’t know and she said he kept getting calls and he said I am leaving because somebody is calling me from camp. And he waited a little while then another call came and then he said ‘Somebody else is calling me from camp so I’m going back and then I will come back.”
But unfortunately Martin never made it back to his mother’s house after taking off on his Kawasaki motorcycle, a bike his sister says Martin loved very much.
Anna Bennett, Sister of Victor Martin: “He’s a swimmer, he was a PTI in the BDF. He is a therapist and most recently the bike and ninja was his thing. He was in a bike club, I don’t know the name of the bike club but he was a biker for which he loved. I just also learned that he had a name for the bike which was I think he said “Josephine.” that’s how much he loved his bike. Nobody can scratch that bike. Don’t go too close because ‘No, no no, I don’t want my bike to be scratched.”
Sadly Martin’s family won’t have the privilege of having that motorcycle as a memento after it was completely destroyed by flames following the tragic incident. However his sister says they have a mountain of marvelous memories to remember her brother.
Anna Bennett, Sister of Victor Martin: “He was a scout, he represented the country in Washington. He was a runner, he has run many half marathons both in the city and in Placencia. My brother was an angel. He is this amazing person. He is family oriented, he is helpful whether he knows you or not, if you were passing by and something is wrong with you he would stop and render aid that’s the type of person he was. He was also our Christmas Santa. Coming on to Christmas you would see him coming with a big bag on his shoulder like a Santa and don’t worry everybody has a gift in there; that was the type of person he was, loving and caring.”
Martin was not married and ever had any children of his own but his family says that they were his pride and joy.
Victor Martin was a beloved member of the Belize Defence Force family. He was a very involved athlete representing the BDF and Belize in regional and international competitions. Chief of Staff at the BDF’s Ladyville headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Velasquez says the news of the fatal accident shocked the BDF family.
Lt.Col. Anthony Velasquez, Chief of Staff, BDF: “We were very shocked. Victor Martin was a very well liked and loved soldier so the entire force has felt his passing. Staff Sergeant Martin up to the time of this death he was working with the Special Operation Task Force, he was a special force operator basically. He was a physical training instructor and he was a mentor to many many soldiers here at the BDF. He was a model soldier if there ever was one. Victor Martin was a model solider, he excelled in everything he did and everything he did he did passionately and his first and only is the Belize Defence Force, he was always dedicated to duty and he was a member of a bike club as well. So that’s one of his passions being part of that motorcycle club and he would regularly hit the road after work to experience the thrill of the road and driving. He has a lot of experience with the bike, he had this bike for many years and like I mentioned before he’s a member of the Easy Riders motorcycle club so biking was his passion so he had a lot of experience, lots of road time on his bike. He’s never had any major incidents before, just minor stuff like the chain might have burst once or is battery gave trouble but nothing major he was always a very careful driver on the bike. Whenever anyone saw him he was well suited, had his full suit on and his helmet at all times so this came as a shock because he was a very very careful rider of his bike.”