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Bridge gets upgrade after 4 fatalities

By Michelle Sutherland
Staff Reporter

Following a Garifuna Settlement Day weekend which recorded three tragic accidents resulting in four fatalities at the same one-laned bridge in Saint Margaret’s village, new signs, markers and rails are being put in place to prevent any further accidents there.

Instillation of reflective sign done at the St Margaret's bridge on the Humming Bird Highway.

Instillation of reflective sign done at the St Margaret’s bridge on the Humming Bird Highway.

The signs and markers were donated by Cisco Construction, which started installing the upgrades on Wednesday, while the Ministry of Works has committed to installing the new rails.
Residents in the area believe that the deteriorating road and the dilapidated bridge, which did not have any side railings or reflective stickers installed at the time, may have contributed to the number of accidents recorded over the busy weekend.

Image captures both vehicle that ran off the one lane bridge in St. Margaret's Village over the weekend.

Image captures both vehicle that ran off the one lane bridge in St. Margaret’s Village over the weekend.

Police failed to issue on white vehicle which plunged from off same bridge on Friday night.

Police failed to issue on white vehicle which plunged from off same bridge on Friday night.

On Thursday, Chief Transport Officer, Tirso Galvez confirmed that there were no police checkpoints on the stretch of highway where the accidents happened. The Belmopan Police Department, however, stated that traffic duties are not usually within their purview.

36-year-old Glen Bert Reneau, first victim of weekend's traffic mishap on St. Margaret's one way bridge.

36-year-old Glen Bert Reneau, first victim of weekend’s traffic mishap on St. Margaret’s one way bridge.

37-year-old Keith Alonzo Frazer(Yellow shirt) and his uncle 37-year-old Harold Albert Smith dead after vehicle they were travelling in plunges from off bridge.

37-year-old Keith Alonzo Frazer(Yellow shirt) and his uncle 37-year-old Harold Albert Smith dead after vehicle they were travelling in plunges from off bridge.

41-year-old Marlon Flowers, barber at Slip and Slide Barber shop in Belize City loses life in traffic accident on St Margaret's bridge over long holiday weekend.

41-year-old Marlon Flowers, barber at Slip and Slide Barber shop in Belize City loses life in traffic accident on St Margaret’s bridge over long holiday weekend.

Officer Commanding Belmopan Police, Howell Gillett said the situation has prompted his formation to become involved in areas not directly related to their immediate responsibilities. As a result, the department worked along with Cisco Construction to install signage and reflective stickers on the bridge.

On Sunday, November 19th, Harold Albert Smith, 37; his nephew Keith Alonzo Frazer, 37; and their friend Marlon Flowers, 41, were driving from Dangriga to Burrell Boom village when upon nearing the said bridge, Smith lost control of the vehicle and plunged into the nearby river, killing all three of them.

Prior to that accident on Saturday night, 36-year-old Glen Bert Reneau was driving from Belmopan to Dangriga, along with passengers Glendale Ramos, 26; and Maria Ramirez, 21, when he lost control of his vehicle and plunged into the river off the bridge, resulting in his death and injuries to his two passengers.

Not much is known about the third incident which occurred in the same area on Friday night as police has not issued any report.

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