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September 03
14:57 2018
REPORTER: News Staff, -

The usually fun-filled atmosphere of a family event at a race track in San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk district this past Sunday evening was marred by tragedy when a female spectator and resident of Orange Walk Town was trampled by one of the horses at the end of a race.

The incident occurred at around 5:00 p.m. on September 2nd, 2018 and claimed the life of Suleima Celiz, 36, an employee of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and district coordinator for Orange Walk.

There are varying reports on several media outlets which state that while racing the jockey fell off the animal which then ran into the crowd of spectators and trampled Celiz in the process. The Reporter reached out to a witness to confirm the chain of events surrounding the unfortunate tragedy.

That witness told the Reporter that Celiz was standing at the finishing line of the horse track with some friends and had crossed the track on several occasions during the race. However, on the last crossing which she attempted, she was halfway across the track when the horses came bearing down on her. Since the animals were going at a very fast pace there was no way they could slow down in time and when another spectator saw what was happening he shouted at her to get out the way. That prompted Celiz to try to do so but she inadvertently jumped right into the path of one of the animals.

“The jockey tried to steer the horse away from the female but when he did she ran straight into the same path. The animal’s face and chest hit her with full force and the impact picked her up and flipped her in the air. She landed on her face and when we turned her over we knew that she was already dead. She was unresponsive and had a huge gash on her forehead,” the witness told us.

The horse track in San Felipe is not the traditional round one with wooden rails separating spectators from racing horses. It is one straight line, allegedly with only a rope between horses and people. We were also told that Police Officers and other officials did nothing to stop Celiz from crossing the track, even though she did so on several occasions.

Minister with responsibility for NEMO Edmond Castro, following word of the unfortunate incident, issued his condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Celiz and says that while he did not know her on a personal level he did work closely with her on a professional level as district coordinator.

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