As we have noted, yesterday’s traffic accident is being recorded as one of the biggest in Belize’s recent history. Today, the entire country sympathizes with the families of the people whose lives were claimed. Our reporter, Naim Borges, visited the scene of the tragic accident and spoke with the family members of the deceased.
Families, friends and coworkers are left to mourn after a tragic accident claimed the life of seven people here between miles 18 and 19 on the George Price Highway. Remnants of the accident are visibly seen by drivers travelling on the highway. The four Belizeans are 45-year-old Lourdes Wade Hall, 67- year-old- Edward Wade Sr., 29 year-old Mayra Alcoser and 67- year old Errol Belisle. The other three victims are all American nationals including 53 year old Jaqueline Abad and 51 year-old Sarah Amrijo. Love News arrived at the scene of the accident where we heard screaming and crying from the victims involved. Paramedics and police officers were at the scene clearing the way for ambulances to pass through. There was also a line of traffic that spanned miles away from the accident as the highway was completely closed. At the scene was one of the victim’s father-in-law who told us what he recalled seeing when he got there. According to him he heard the news of a fatal accident on the road but did not know who it was.
Clifton Hall, Father-in law of Lourdes Wade – Hall: “My son called from Chicago and informed me about the accident and told me that his wife was involved- I said “did she die” and he said “I don’t know.”. Me and my daughter here jumped into the vehicle and we drove down to the area and it was a problem getting there the traffic was so backed up and the police was stopping you from passing but I was able to get through to the site of the accident and when I got there they hadn’t removed the bodies as yet so I was able to see them in the back of a pick up truck. She has left behind two lovely boys, one 14 and one 16 and a husband who loved her very much.”
Coworkers and friends of the deceased told us that their work spaces will no longer be the same after this tragic accident. Hearts were truly broken and bonds will forever be remembered.
Shauna Burns, Coworker of Lourdes Wade -Hall: “Lourdes and I have been colleagues and coworkers and so for fifteen plus years. I’ve been at SSB for almost twenty years and from then I have been close friends with her. We’ve worked together in several departments and even when she got transferred we kept in touch. Lourdes is a vibrant person, just bubbly, cheery, you never see an angry Lourdes, you could maybe see me angry at times but not her- she is vibrant, she is cheery, she was my mentor, my adviser, my sister and she was a mother, a wife and she was our friend. She works at the Belmopan branch office and she’s the one who greets the customers, as you open the door she is literally the first person you see, she is your come to girl. She is that person that everyone wants to interact with and I know because I worked at the front line with her as well just up to a month ago when I got a transfer. As you open that door she is like ‘How can I help you.’ or if she sees something is not going right she will let us know ‘this is what I think you need to do and let us try it this way just for the sake of our customers.’ and almost every customer I could put my head on the block can say something positive about Lourdes.”
Marjeli Manzanilla, Supervisor of Lordes Wade- Hall: “This morning we conducted a prayer service in her memory thanking her for all the good things she had done in life, she did very good things in our life, she impacted all of us here at the branch. Our staff, our coworkers, our friends are very broken. It’s hard to admit right, now we are not able to concentrate. Right now I think everybody is feeling this pain- everybody is broken.”
Roxana Alcoser-Anderson, Cousin of Mayra Alsoser: “We all received the news and we were shocked and we were in disbelief but then we got ourselves together because of the love that Mayra had for the family. Mayra was an outgoing person and in any room that she goes she would shine up that room with her little joke and Mayra, I know that Mayra has entered the gates of heaven and she will have her eternal rest and she is in glory. She stayed in Belmopan while I came back to Orange Walk and Mayra was a person that she was always strong through this life. She excelled in everything she put her mind to. She was the relationship officer for ScotiaBank and she started as a teller and she put herself all the way up there and Mayra was a humble humble person and she loved and cared for everyone and everyone would remember her smile. We know that she has an eternal rest and that is what keeps us together, you know, knowing that Mayra really didn’t suffer. She was taken away in a second by the almighty one and it was her time.”
The Wade family were returning back home from their son’s graduation ceremony which occurred at the Belize Coast Guard headquarters. We communicated with Lourdes’ husband Elute Hall who explained to us that Lourdes was preparing to relocate to the United States to be with him and their two sons as she had been waiting for her green card. He added that the devastation is great for the family and they are making plans to come home to lay them to rest. We also understand that the US embassy has stepped in to assist the American nationals who were involved in yesterday’s incident.
The Belize Tourism Board and The US Embassy of Belize has sent out their deepest regards to families of the Belizeans and tourists who perished. According to the US Embassy, they are reaching out to the families of the American tourists and are assisting where possible.