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BDF officer needs blood for surgery after fatal accident; six of eight injured released

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Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2022. 11:16 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: A week ago today, eight members of the Belize Defence Force were injured following a fatal traffic accident on the George Price Highway while another, Lance Corporal Roxannie Hill Goff, died.

To date, six of the eight injured have been released after hospital treatment, according to the Force’s acting Chief of Staff Lieutenant Colonel Jermaine Burns, who spoke to reporters on Wednesday.

However, one of the two remaining, identified as Private Cory Martells, who is suffering with a broken femur, has a serious need as explained by Colonel Burns: “[He] requires negative blood. Any negative class blood would work, and we’re appealing to the public for assistance with that. In our numbers, in the BDF, we only have 13 guys with that class of blood. And out of the 13, we’ve only managed to get about four units thus far. We have a civilian who has donated, and so we have the fifth unit. We’re appealing for about three more units for that soldier before he can take surgery. His surgery is not as urgent, but it’s a broken femur. He needs the surgery, and he would require those pints of blood.”

Lieutenant Colonel Burns also discussed the ongoing emotional support that the military is providing to the recovering soldiers. These are the co-workers of Lance Corporal Hill, who were also in the van at the time of the accident. He said that they are currently being looked after by the BDF’s wellness team: Just Monday, there was a counselor who came from the EAP program within the Government that saw two groups, two individual groups, and [as] you would imagine, these are females who bulk of those who were seen in this very building. They were seen for an entire day, counseled, and then the BDF wellness team took over that counseling. That’s going to be an ongoing process. The grieving process has a couple of stages that they’ll be going through. But, I’m happy to report that the females within BDF have garnered the strength to bury their own [today] in the Double Head Cabbage area.”

An official police report states that three vehicles were involved in the accident: a gray Toyota 4-Runner, the BDF’s white transit van and a bus driven by Cotton Tree resident and Salvadoran national Nelson Coreas Salazar.

According to police, the driver of the 4-Runner, identified as Jacqueline Cabral of Placencia, was driving toward Belmopan when Salazar’s bus in front of her turned left to cross the highway and change directions, then swerved back to his right. Cabral moved left to avoid rear-ending the bus, and struck the van, driven by a Lance Corporal and headed back toward Belize City. The impact sent the van tumbling off the left side of the highway, killing Lance Corporal Goff and injuring her fellows. No charges have been announced to date.

 

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