By Marion V. Ali
Two persons, Pamela Bennett Cumberbatch, 45, a popular “loan shark” (lending agent) of Belize City, and Alfredo Navarrete, 80, a highly regarded businessman and resident of Burrell Boom village, were killed when their vehicles collided on Sunday, January 3rd.
The accident happened between miles five and six on the Philip Goldson Highway around 9:00 in the morning.
Cumberbatch, who operated Pam’s Pawn and Loan Centre from her home on Caesar Ridge Road, was travelling along with her husband, traffic officer Calvin Cumberbatch, 35, in a white Tundra pick-up truck, heading towards Orange Walk, when their vehicle slammed head on into a gray van, driven by Navarrete.
Dr. Fernando Cuellar pronounced Cumberbatch and Navarrete dead at the scen. Calvin Cumberbatch continues to recover at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Blood and urine samples have been taken from him to see if he was driving under the influence of alcohol.
Cumberbatch’s younger sister, Kenisha Young told the Reporter that Cumberbatch had gone to collect money from someone in Sand Hill village for the money-lending business she operated. Young said following the accident, investigators showed the family cash that was recovered from Cumberbatch’s vehicle, but that the cash had to be secured until investigations are complete.
Navarrete was heading to Belize City at the time.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Edward Broaster, who heads the Department’s Eastern Division Rural, told reporters that the accident happened on a dangerous curve, and the Department would need to acquire the necessary resources in order to enforce the traffic laws on the nation’s highways. The accident scene is just a few hundred yards away from where another accident had occurred just hours before during a heavy downpour. No one died in that previous collision.
Cumberbatch was the mother of three sons, including Mark Gentle Vernon, 27, who was shot dead in front of their home on Caesar Ridge Road in May of 2015. Her husband, traffic officer, Calvin Cumberbatch, was also hit in that incident.