Dozens of police officers gathered at the foot of the Haulover Bridge just after two o’clock on Sunday morning as the news of one of their colleagues being involved in a fatal accident spread across the police precincts. 38-year-old, Orlando Cruz, who was the second in command at the Hattieville Police Station, was found in a ditch off the rails of the bridge on the outskirts of Belize City. Cruz was heading north on a motorcycle when the incident occurred. During The Morning Show today, senior officer, Assistant of Commissioner of Police, Deziree Phillips called in to give a brief message of condolence to the Cruz family and the Belize Police Department.
“We want to extend our sincere condolence to the Cruz family. The Police Department is of course mourning the loss of a very young, vibrant, dedicated officer, who I personally knew very well. He was the Second in Command at the Hattieville Police Station. I knew him very well and I had the opportunity to work very closely with him over the past three years being in the Eastern Division and his death is rather unfortunate, untimely and one that we did not expect. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and his fellow colleagues who were very close in working with him and to members of the community. The department really lost a very good officer.”
Meanwhile as it pertains to the accident, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster briefed us on the accident and the injuries that Cruz sustained.
“One of our finest, one of the Belize Police Department’s finest. On Saturday morning about 2:20pm we received a call that there was a traffic accident at the Haulover Bridge on the Rural Eastern Division jurisdiction. The Belama police responded and discovered the body of Orlando Cruz. At this time we’d like to extend our condolences to the family and to all the members of the Belize Police Department, his friends. It’s an unfortunate situation, it’s an untimely situation. Seargent Cruz has been in this department for over 17 years. He joined the department on the 22nd of February 1998. He was the Deputy Commanding Officer of the Hattieville Precinct and he was an excellent supervisor and Commander at that. He will be greatly missed. Apparently he collided on his motorcycle into the guard rail just after he crossed the bridge where he fell to his demise.”
A post mortem has been conducted and it has been certified that the Sergeant died due to trauma sustained to his upper body. Cruz, who was originally from the Cayo District, leaves behind a 11-year-old daughter in Belmopan. According to Broaster a Trust Fund will be opened for her, in which contributions from personnel and the department will be made. Cruz resided in the Hattieville Village, Belize District, where he was stationed.