By Marion V. Ali
Several persons escaped almost sure death when their vehicle came to a screeching halt just feet above the Belize River shortly after 7 p.m. on Sunday. The concrete barrier on the river’s edge stopped it from careening into the crocodile-infested waters near mile seven on the Philip Goldson Highway.
An eyewitness told reporters at the scene that the whole incident was triggered when a vehicle that overtook their Ford Ranger “slammed into the rear-view mirror,” and crashed into a white truck coming in the opposite direction.
The driver of the Ranger swerved off the road to avoid a head-on collision with the two vehicles that had just crashed and ended up on the barrier, with the front portion of the vehicle hanging over the river. The occupants of the Ranger had just left Belize City, where they had visited a sick relative in the hospital.
In an earlier incident around 5 p.m., between miles 13 and 14 on the same highway, the tire of a grey Toyota pick-up truck blew out when it made contact with a portion of the shoulder of the road as the vehicle headed towards Belize City.
Its driver, Cedric Avilez, 36, lost control and the vehicle flipped over several times, throwing out all the passengers seated in the pan.
Marshall Nunez, Jr., 23, Elsyrth Hendy, 23, Roy Cox, 34, George James, 43, and Aaron Jones, all of Belize City, are recuperating from varying degrees of injury and are receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.