Crime

Galen student knocked down and killed after alighting bus

By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor

Alma Flowers, 21, a student of Galen University lost her life on Sunday night when a vehicle knocked her down just after she had alighted a bus and was crossing the Philip Goldson highway en route to her house.

The incident happened just after 7:30 p.m., at the Crooked Tree junction near Mile 31, when the vehicle travelling in the direction from Orange Walk towards Ladyville ran into Flowers, flinging her off the side of the road with severe injuries to her head, foot and shoulder. She died at the scene.

The student had just gotten off a bus from Belize City, where she had taken another bus earlier that day to Melchor to purchase clothing and other supplies for the upcoming school year. She walked to the back of the bus and was scurrying across the highway with her purchases when the vehicle, driven by Leonel del Valle, 25, struck her. Police have since issued a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) to del Valle and have taken a blood sample from him.

Flowers avoided another vehicle which was also travelling from the direction of Ladyville towards Orange Walk, but did not see the other one travelling in the opposite direction. In a statement to the police, del Valle said he did not see Flowers either.

Flowers had reportedly been texting her family in Crooked Tree while on the bus to update them of her location at different points along the way. Her last message to them was from Gardenia Village a few miles down the highway.

The tragedy has raised the ire of Crooked Tree residents who have been lobbying for a speed bump to be placed at that junction, where they say five people have died in similar fashion this year.

Del Valle, did not flee the scene of the accident, as other media houses have reported. He, according to Flowers’ family, has been cooperative and forthcoming with details of the accident.

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