Tragedy struck in the village of Kendal, Stann Creek District, as two ambulance medics, Ernesto Caliz Sr., 51, and Nurse Madonna Anyanwu, lost their lives during a routine emergency response. The medics had picked up a pregnant woman from the Punta Gorda clinic and were transferring her to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, when the accident took place.
The pregnant woman, Magdalena Choco, 32, was seated in the back of the ambulance at the time of the accident and miraculously survived.
The fatal accident occurred at the Kendal Bridge on Saturday, March 26, 2011, around 8:45 p.m., as the ambulance, driven by Caliz, made its way onto the flat wooden bridge, but immediately rolled over on its top and into the water beneath.
The bridge has no side rails and is fairly narrow, permitting only one vehicle at a time.
Heroic efforts by a few residents of Kendal Village paid off when they jumped into the water to rescue Choco from the vehicle.
The impact from the vehicle into the water resulted in fatal injuries to Caliz’s and Anyanwu’s head and body. They died immediately.
We have been informed that Choco has since delivered her baby at the Southern Regional Hospital.
Amandala has been unable to get further information from the Southern Regional Hospital officials.