By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
The suspected driver behind the wheel of a New Year’s Day hit and run accident on Central American Boulevard died on his way to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) Monday night following heart complications.
Don Tillett, who had been in an induced coma at the KHMH since last Wednesday, was released over the weekend. He was at home when he collapsed on Monday. Tillett was initially rushed to the KHMH after he suffered heart attack-like symptoms and was found disoriented on the Phillip Goldson Highway on New Years’s night.
Tillett claimed that he had offered a ride to three men who assaulted him and stole the vehicle he was driving. He claimed that he had no recollection of anything after that. Superintendent Dawson, Officer Commanding Precinct One, stated that there was no evidence to indicate that he was or was not abducted but the investigation is still ongoing.
Tillett, owner of a body works shop on North Creek in Belize City, was suspected to be behind the wheel of an unlicensed and uninsured silver Dodge Neon that was in his shop undergoing repairs. Roman Riverol, nephew of the deceased, confirmed that the vehicle involved in the incident was his and was in Tillet’s shop pending repairs.
It is suspected that he was driving drunk at the time of the accident, which took place near the corner of Central American Boulevard and Mopan Street at around 5:50 p.m, January 1.
The driver of a red Honda motorcycle, 43-year-old Ian Skeen, had just turned onto the Boulevard from Mopan Street when the Neon rammed into his cycle from behind.
One witness on the scene said that she saw Skeen go flying into the air as he was tossed from his cycle, and landed across the street near the phone booth and bus stop in front of Santos Diaz and Sons.
She said that when he landed, he sat up and his helmet was shattered and a piece of the broken helmet was around his neck like a chain. The witness also stated that she and her mother jumped out of the way for fear of being knocked by the same vehicle.
According to multiple witnesses on the scene, including security guards from Belize Water Services (BWS), after the initial impact, the cycle was lodge under the Neon as the vehicle dragged it along the street until it parked in front of the BWS gate. Once parked, the single occupant of the vehicle pulled the cycle from beneath his car and sped off across the Belcan Bridge in the direction of the Phillip Goldson Highway.
The police that responded to the accident took Skeen to the KHMH, where they treated him for a deep gash to his left heel, a dislocated right ring finger, multiple scrapes and scratches across his body, and stitches to his head. Skeen was released from the KHMH that same night.
Hours after the accident the vehicle was found in near Ladyville and the driver of the vehicle was seen wandering near the road when someone called the ambulance for Tillett after seeing the condition of the vehicle. An ambulance responded and rushed Tillett to the KHMH after he started to suffer from a heart condition that has troubled him in the past, according to Tillet’s family members.