CLICK PLAY FOR LIVE STREAMING || REFRESH YOUR BROWSER IF STREAM IS NOT LOADING

 
Listen Live On Our Live Stream or Tune To Our Frequencies: 88.3 FM | 88.9 FM | 94.7 FM | 95.1 FM | 98.1 FM | 98.5 FM

Minor knocked down and killed by drunk driver

An alleged drunk driver killed an eight-year-old girl on Friday night. It happened in Ladyville Village and the victim has been identified as 8-year-old Mercedes Campos. The man driving the vehicle that knocked down and killed Mercedes was 52-year-old Elias Reynoso, a Guinea Grass villager, who has been criminally charged for her death. It’s a tragic incident that has left the family of Mercedes torn especially since the little girl was excited to return to school. Reporter Vejea Alvarez visited the bereaved family and has the story.

Vejea Alvarez, Love Fm News: Tonight, 8 year old Mercedes Campus is dead and the man accused of killing her, 51 year old Elias Reynoso, has been criminally charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, failure to provide a valid driver’s licence, failure to provide a blood or urine  sample. That’s because on Friday night, Reynoso appeared to be heavily intoxicated when he knocked down and killed the Standard 2 student. Her mother, 28 year old Alba Guevara, is now devastated that she will never see her daughter again.”

Alba Guevara, Mother of Deceased: “This can’t stay like this. I want justice for my daughter.” 

Vejea Alvarez, Love Fm News: The tragic incident unfolded around 6:30 at the corner of Poinsettia Street, Ladyville Village and the Philip Goldson Highway. Guevara, her mother, and her two daughters were about to cross the highway when a Mazda pickup truck driven by Reynoso swerved directly into them. Lucila Guevara, Campus’ grandmother, described those frightening moments to Love News as tears ran down her face.

Lucila Guevara, Grandmother of Deceased: “Since he was intoxicated, he did not adhere to the speed limit and he hit us. My granddaughter fell down and the tires of the vehicle passed right over her. I tried to pull my next granddaughter out of the way. If not, the vehicle would have run over all of them. I pulled my granddaughter. She only scraped her hand. My other granddaughter was dragged by the vehicle.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love Fm News: Guevara says that after hitting them, Reynoso then attempted to try and flee the scene. 

Lucila Guevara, Grandmother of Deceased: “The car tried to get away. The driver tried to escape but there was a police officer nearby and with the help of other people they were able to prevent him from getting away. The little girl was unconscious but after five minutes she reacted. She asked “What happened?” and that was it. We tried to grab her hand but the police officer said not to touch her.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love Fm News: The mother and daughter were then rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where Campus’ family said the minor spent the last moments of her life fighting to stay alive. 

Lucila Guevara, Grandmother of Deceased: “The little girl was going unconscious again but they wouldn’t take her to the hospital. My daughter was asking for assistance to take her to the hospital because she was dying. My other daughter arrived in a police officer’s car and they made their way towards the hospital. They met the ambulance on the way and she was transported to the hospital. Unfortunately, she experienced internal bleeding and they weren’t able to operate on her. She passed away.” 

Vejea Alvarez, Love Fm News: Reynoso was escorted to the Ladyville Police Station where his vehicle was impounded following the deadly accident and according to Police Press Officer, ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, based on investigations, he was heavily intoxicated and driving recklessly. 

ASP. Fitzroy Yearwood, Public Relations, Belize Police Department: “He refused to give blood or urine sample and he has, since then, subsequently been charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, failure to provide a valid driver’s licence, and failure to provide blood or urine specimen. We know that this person is to appear in court sometime today to be arraigned.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love Fm News: And while Campus’ parents, friends, and neighbours continue to mourn her tragic loss, her grandmother says she will be reminiscing at the vibrant young soul that was lost at the hands of a drunk driver. 

Lucila Guevara, Grandmother of Deceased: “She was a lovely girl. Very intelligent and studious. She was very helpful. She did not miss a day of worship. We have the church next door and she was always right by my side praying with me.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love Fm News: According to police, at the time of the incident, Reynoso’s pickup truck did not have a valid licence. Vejea Alvarez, Love News.

Reynoso was arraigned this morning in Belize City in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Sharon Fraser. The Guatemalan national was charged with one count of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, failure to provide a valid driver’s license, and failure to provide a specimen. He was granted bail of ten thousand dollars despite objections that he is of flight risk given that he is not Belizean. In court, his attorney Leeroy Banner argued that Reynoso has residency, is employed, and has four children with a Belizean. Chief Magistrate Fraser considered Banner’s submission and granted bail under strict conditions. Love News understands that Reynoso was unable to meet bail and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. He is to return to court on October 22, 20022.///