There was a fatal accident just after midday today on the Western Highway at mile 37 which claimed the life American Teresa Lyn Mueres and which has put her companion, American Samuel Shulte in the hospital.
Police have not released official information as yet, because they are still taking statements from the parties, but we have managed to speak with eyewitnesses who saw how the accident unfold. The two were on a tour with guide Leon Rodriguez, who works for the Big John Taxi and Tour Company. They were on their way to Jaguar Paw in a blue SUV. Reportedly, Rodriguez had already been signaling that he intended to turn into the Jaguar Paw Road. He pulled off to the side, and was waiting for the 18 wheeler truck, which was carrying oranges, to pass behind him, but somehow the driver of the truck lost control of the vehicle. The truck rear-ended the SUV and the force of the impact crushed from behind.
The accident ended with the truck overturned on the highway and the SUV in a mangled wreck in the drain. Mueres, who reportedly was in the backseat, died as a result of the collision. Our news team was on the scene about an hour and a half later, and here's what they found when they arrived:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
On the Western Highway, just past Franks Eddy/Jaguar Paw Road's Intersection. This 18 wheeler orange Truck lay over turned on the highway, hundreds of oranges spilled out on the road.
The wreckage of that accident was blocking almost the entire 2 lanes, and police had to direct the traffic to drive on shoulder of the road to get past the truck.
On the other side, workers busied themselves trying to salvage as much of the undamaged oranges as possible
In the drain, this blue SUV's mangled body showed the force of the impact, crushed from the back. 3 persons were inside this vehicle, 1 tour guide, and 2 American tourists.
One of the American passengers passed away:
Voice of: Stephanie Bowen - Eyewitness
"I was presently at the junction 37 miles Jaguar Paw waiting for a job when I witness a truck filled with oranges impacted into a small blue SUV and collided into the back of it and it dragged it a couple miles long and the vehicle flipped into the side and truck overturned."
"Tell me, you were explaining to me that the blue vehicle had his indicator for a long while. Explain that to me."
Voice of: Stephanie Bowen - Eyewitness
"He had his indicator on from a distance coming down the highway. He got in front of the junction, turning off on to the right side and the truck tipped the back of the blue vehicle and it flipped and then by the time it got to the middle of it, the back of the truck just kept on dragging it down the street. I went up to the vehicle and I saw the driver lean back, the passenger in front was a male, lean onto the chest of the driver and the lady in the back was crushed in. So, we woke up the driver, took him out, found out that the male was also conscious. He started responding, we took him out the vehicle and then we sent him to the hospital in one of the police vehicle. But the lady was not responding. She was fully crushed in the back, so we tried to cut her out and gave her enough air until the ambulance came. One problem - that ambulance took 55 minutes to get here."
The tour guide and driver the vehicle is an employee of Independent Tour Operator, John Pollard. As soon as he got the news that the accident happened, he made his way to the scene to render assistance
John Pollard - Owner, Big John's Tour and Taxi Company
"From my taking a look at what happened, he was railed in - tail-end. The vehicle across the street, the blue vehicle, that's his vehicle. The 18 wheeler that overturned, that's the guy that hit him from back way. If we should go by the right way, anybody driving on the road, or driving any way, should drive with due care and attention. So, if I am in front of you, and you and behind me and you hit me from the back, automatically, you are the one who is in trouble or you are the one who is in wrong. There is no long and short side about that. Okay, Leon Rodriguez is a driver from within our department and Leon also is a careful driver. He has a guide licensed, side guide and he is in school to continue doing what he is doing. My driver is saying that he is feeling pains inside his chest and pains inside his stomach, that he had received from the injury. I have also visited the Western Regional Hospital here and one of the tourist, the male in particular, is also saying that he receive pains also. I had spoken to one lady from the embassy, by the name of Ms. Jenifer Clarman and she is a nice lady, she is saying that they are now going to send the tourist, who is an American passenger to Belize City at one of the private hospitals and they are going to take over from there. They have received all their documents and they have the full history of the two passengers who are United States citizens. If you notice, the driver right here Mr. Rodriguez, he is still shocked. He didn't even remember what happened. Also for the male tourist inside, when I talk to him juts now, he was asking me, where he is and what has happened? What took place now? I am saying that we need to be careful driving. Tomorrow is going to be Ash Wednesday. The lent season is about to begin. This is for all drivers throughout the entire the country, throughout the world - let us be careful of what we are doing. Let us think about each other's life."
We've been informed, through second-hand sources that, Samuel Shulte has been transported to a private hospital in Belize City. We'll try to get comments from the Police in tomorrow's newscast.