On May 17, 2007, it was a beautiful day that turned out to become a tragic one for Graciela Santos as her only son, eight year old Jose Raudalez, was involved in a traffic accident that took him away from her.
San Pedro Police have detained Eladio Balam, the driver of a construction vehicle (Bobcat) that was involved in a traffic accident that left the San Pedro R.C. school student dead with injuries to the head. Forty two year old Eladio Balam, of the San Juan area in San Pedro Town, reported to Police that sometime around 11a.m. on Thursday, May 17, 2007, he was driving a Bobcat on the alleyway that separates the San Pedro Roman Catholic School and the Sunbreeze Hotel in the airstrip area when a small child on a bicycle attempted to overtake the vehicle.
According to Balam, the alleyway in which he was traveling was narrow and the child's bicycle handle touched against a wall causing him to lose control. As a result, the child fell and hit his head against a steel portion of the vehicle and was rendered unconscious. The young child was transported to the Lion's Clinic but was pronounced dead on arrival. The post mortem results indicated that Jose died of Trauma Shock due to chest injuries as a result of the accident.
The other side of the story
According to 13 year old Ivan Gomez, who was with his friend Jose at the time of the accident, Jose was walking along side him pushing (not riding) his bicycle when Balam backed up the Bobcat and pinned Jose against the wall and crushed his head. Jose fell to the ground with blood covering his face and tried to get up once but fell right back to the ground.
Eladio Balam has since been arrested and charged with the following charges:
1. Manslaughter by negligence
2. Causing death by careless conduct
3. Driving without due care and attention
4. Driving an unlicensed motor vehicle
5. Failing to display insurance on vehicle
Balam met his bail of $5,000 and is due to appear in court on June 28, 2007, pending his court charges.