Nitaya Locke was the first female auto-mechanic in a male dominated industry. She has a level-two mechanical engineering degree, was certified by Isuzu and was employed at Bravo Motors in Belize City. But on Friday night, a traffic accident near Public’s Supermarket on the Phillip Goldson Highway claimed the life of the well-known technician. After a night out with her sister and friends, twenty-six year old Locke was retiring for the night and while heading to her home in Lord’s Bank, she somehow lost control of her Meilun motorcycle and ran off the road near mile two. Police arrived on the scene shortly after, around eleven-thirty p.m., to find the motorbike lodged between a fence and a lamppost. Locke’s motionless body was discovered slumped over the bike. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.
Duane Moody, Reporting
Damages to a lamppost and fence, as well as withered flowers just off the sidewalk near mile two on the Phillip Goldson Highway, mark the spot where Nitaya Locke came to a stop after she lost control of the motorcycle on which she was traveling. Locke received massive head and body injuries; one of her legs was broken as well as both of her arms and a few ribs. Around eleven-thirty on Friday night, police responded to the scene of a traffic accident and found the twenty-six-year-old resident of Lord’s Bank dead, still atop the motorbike.
Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers, O.C., Precinct 4, Eastern Division North
“Upon their arrival they saw a single motorcycle, a Meilun type motorcycle, trail bike type motorcycle, between the fence of this yard behind me and the lamppost that is directly behind me. The officers approached the body and saw it to be a Hispanic female to be the rider of that motorcycle that was lodged between the cement post and the light post.”
According to reports, Locke was out socializing at the Pickwick Club with her sister and two other friends, before heading over to Thirsty Thursday around nine-thirty p.m. Thereafter she traveled towards her home in Lord’s Bank, but not before making a stop for fuel at the Puma Gas Station on the highway. A short distance away is where she crashed and died. Coworker and friend, Dana Ramclam says that she got the news of Locke’s untimely death hours later.
Dana Ramclam, Coworker/Friend of Accident Victim
“I recently got to know Nitaya about mid last year to talk with, but I knew her for like three four years because she used to work at Belize Telemedia Limited as a technician and she normally comes here to purchase parts or would call and as for me to provide her with a quotation and so forth. We started chatting on Facebook and I understand that she had resigned from B.T.L. and I knew her capabilities so I asked her to apply at Bravo for a job.”
Locke was the only female technician with a level-two mechanical engineering degree from the University of Belize. She had been working with Bravo Motors since March of this year. According to a post by her former employer, (Quote) “Nitaya was the first female technician to ever join the Bravo Team and was recently certified by Isuzu.” (Unquote) Today, her unit at the service center remains almost untouched. While work continued, the technicians are still shocked by the news.
Giovanni Ramos, Service Manager, Bravo Motors
“When she first came in, I was a bit skeptical because she was entering a male dominated environment. I was wondering if she can hold up and run with the guys. But she put that to rest in no time. She came in and did everything we expected her to do and went above. So she was a very good addition to the team. What we found recently is that she seemed to have bonded the guys together in a way that wasn’t happening before. She lit the fire under the guys to have a female technician come in a male dominated environment and to show the guys up was something that the guys took very seriously and they rose to the challenge and it was very refreshing. She was always up to learning; she never said no…that’s what I always remember about her.”
But is it possible that Locke could have been hit by a vehicle? According to police, the investigation is looking at all angles.
Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers
“The investigation is ongoing. I have not the information that you articulated just now but that certainly would be an angle that the police are looking into as well. If it is another vehicle, at this time I cannot say, we will be looking at that and I ask if there is anybody out there with any information that could assist the police in this investigation, this unfortunate loss of Miss Locke’s life, certainly we ask them to come forth and present that to us. The motorcycle will be inspected sometime today as well as the postmortem to reveal the specific cause of death.”