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Several people hospitalized after bus carrying students overturns

A chartered bus carrying students from Santa Clara/San Roman RC School, Corozal District, overturned this morning at around seven o’clock.  The students, along with their parents and teachers, were on a class trip when the accident occurred due to the driver reportedly experiencing health issues. The passengers were shaken up and about 20 of them – 8 kids and 12 adults – were taken to the hospital for minor injuries sustained. ASP Alejandro Cowo had some of the details of what transpired today.

ASP Alejandro Cowo – Head CIB Belize City: “ This morning at about 6:20 police responded to traffic accident on the Boom Road where upon arrival by the dump site area they observed a Tillet bus on the right-hand side of the road leaning up on one side and they also observed several students suffering from various degrees of injuries. What we know is that the bus was traveling from Corozal en route to Xunantunich. It was the group of students from Santa Clara RC School that was on an educational trip to Xunantunich when apparently the bus driver began to feel dizzy and all of a sudden he lost control and ended up on that side of the road. Unfortunately, none of the person that were injured, is nothing of concern. They are presently at the hospital with minor injuries. It was about fifty passengers in total in the bus comprising of students, parents, and teachers from the school. The driver is still admitted, he has agreed to give a blood sample so as soon as the doctor finishes with him that sample with be provided. Someone was trapped but with the assistant of a backhoe that person was retrieved from the bus but he received minor injuries, nothing that he is hospitalized for.”

Love News also spoke to the principal of the School, Humberto Juarez, who told us that though the students were not severely injured, they are still very traumatized.

Humberto Juarez – Principal Of Santa Clara/ San Roman School: “We had scheduled a trip today to Xunantunich so there were three buses that were carrying our students, our parents and our teachers from the Tillet’s Bus Company and upon reaching the junction of Burrell Boom one of the buses turned over and that caused several of our children to get injured, some adults as well. I am still here at the KHMH waiting for the discharge of about two parents still who have fractured hands.”

Reporter: “Do you guys have any idea how exactly the bus turned over?”

Humberto Juarez – Principal Of Santa Clara/ San Roman School: “At the moment I am already seeing that the bus driver is hospitalized right now. His family is here waiting for him, apparently he had some type of sudden high blood pressure rising or something and that caused him to lose control and turn over. It seems to me that the bus was not going at a high speed because the injuries that were caused were not major injuries and I think that was good for us that our children are not in such a bad condition. They have bruises on their foreheads, eyebrows, hands,  knees, several of them that is what they have, they hurt their stomachs you know, parts of their body . That is what they have but we do have also some of the parents that got injured a little more severe. That is with the fractured hands and they are traumatized, they are scared, they are saying that they don’t want to ever go on a trip again and stuff like that but it was an accident and we want to make sure that we get over this situation shortly.”

As we interviewed the principal, a parent who was on the bus was exiting the hospital, and she agreed to speak with us off camera about what it was like as the bus was overturning.

Parent: “Well, the only thing that came to my mind was too hug my son. I hugged him tight and said oh god please help my son. Then I started tears and everything was falling upon us and people were screaming. Then people started to help us come out one by one and I was on top of two to three people, ladies and so. We helped each other to come out but when I tried to move my hand I could not. I knew it was broken and they will do surgery on Wednesday, first god and it will be fine.”

There were over a hundred students total on the trip, from the classes of standard 2 to 6, and about 50 adults.