By Marion V. Ali
The Orange Walk September Celebrations Committee is currently in the process of consulting with the National September Celebrations Committee to come up with a stringent system governing the distribution of freebies during the parade.
This follows Sunday’s incident when Santos Uh, 57, was crushed to death by the right rear wheel of a 10-wheeler flatbed that was in the carnival parade when he stumbled as he reached up to receive a flask of rum from someone in the truck.
Marvin Gomez, the finance director and organizer of the Orange Walk Carnival, told The Reporter this week that the consultations will end with a set of procedures that people giving out gifts will have to follow during the crowded event. He also mentioned having more police and security personnel to help control the crowd near the floats.
Santos Uh, a father of nine, was reportedly out with his family watching the carnival and was about to leave the location when a float that was giving out samples of rum passed by.
Someone on the float offered Uh a flask of rum. Police say Uh, who was already under the influence, reached out for the flask, stumbled amid the jostling crowd and fell under the wheels of the float. The incident happened on Dunn Street around 5 p.m. as the parade was nearing its completion.
Police have served the truck driver, who was detained following the incident, with a notice of intended prosecution.
The Orange Walk carnival has been taking place for more than ten years and there have been no reports of fatalities before now. This year the O.W. Carnival had 31 groups and bands take part, including some from Belize City.