A well known businessman from San Ignacio Town lost his life this afternoon in a road traffic incident on the George Price Highway. 56-year-old Richard Harrison, whose family is known for their Big H Enterprise was traveling west when he encountered trouble on the highway. Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz was on the scene.
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: A well known businessman of San Ignacio Town Cayo lost his life early this afternoon following a fatal traffic accident in the village of Ontario. Irene Middleton, one of the first persons to arrive at the scene spoke to Love News.
Irene Middleton, First Responder: “I was at home around one thirty this afternoon and I saw Mr.Richard Harrison pass by in his vehicle and a couple seconds after I heard a big explosion and I ran out and when I ran out I saw a trailer truck carrying some lumber making a stop and when I looked down a little further I saw this vehicle more around the curve. So I ran down and when I saw this vehicle some of the other neighbors that were around ran and we saw the lumber scattered on the road. Well we knew that we couldn’t help him because the vehicle was really damaged and he was trapped inside. So we decided to clear the lumber off the road because vehicles couldn’t pass by in any direction so me and the others that were there including some young men that were working at a neighbor we decided to clear off the road so that the vehicle could pass by.”
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: One of the persons that was driving one of the SUVs spoke to Love News.
Driver: “Around one thirty I was driving this down from Benque Viejo to Belmopan, unfortunate accident, there was a fatality. I had a second, I closed my eyes and I said ‘Thank God I’m still here.’ ”
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: Tell us how the incident unfolded, how you actually saw it happen?
Driver: “Well I just saw lumber flying all over and that’s all I can say. I believe this is going to be taken over to courts so I cannot really give all the details. I’m going to be going over to the officials giving an official report.
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: What caused you to run over there ?
Driver: “I was driving and I couldn’t avoid it. I couldn’t avoid it, lumber was everywhere so I ran over the pieces of wood.”
Harrison was once a PUP supporter and had gone up in an internal convention for Cayo North. Following a Parliamentarian Caucus today, the PUP Chairman, Henry Charles Usher spoke on the tragedy.
Henry Usher, Chairan, People’s United Party: “On behalf of the party and the party leader to express our deepest sympathies with his family and just to express how sorry we were to hear his passing. Richard was one of the few successful businessmen in this country who actually gave back. He was always getting involved in social activities, he was a member I believe of the Macal River Clean Water project recently. He was a contributor to the media, he wrote articles in the BBN and in other media houses I saw some of his articles printed and published so it’s a big loss for Belize, it certainly a big loss for us. When we needed him he ran for us in the Cayo North division, it was a time when it was by-election and we needed a candidate and he stepped forward he wanted to serve the people of Cayo North as a representative of that division you know he was working there for so long. He was unsuccessful but he never stopped working with the people and as you know he was a big part of the Ruta Maya project for so long so it’s a big loss for our country and again on behalf of the party and the party leader we just wanted to say our sympathies to the family and may his soul rest in peace.”
Harrison was recently engaged in a project dubbed Clean Water Alliance, lobbying for a cleaner environment and waterways.