Officer dies while inmates trapped
There is crisis in the transportation industry; we will have full coverage of today’s events. But we start tonight with an accident on the Northern Highway. A News Five team returning to the city was first to reach the scene of the accident near Mile thirty-seven. A van traveling to the Hattieville prison carrying thirteen prisoners escorted by police and prison officials careened off the highway and flipped several times before coming to rest on its side. Some of the prisoners were trapped and badly injured while others fled the area but were soon recaptured. The police officers were also seriously hurt but it was prison warden, Delbert McLaughlin, who lost his life in the accident. We are not certain what the extent of his injuries were but News Five was made to understand that the officer succumbed to his injuries shortly after being transported to the Northern Regional Hospital. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has a report on the events that unfolded immediately thereafter.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
Trapped inside the cage of this secured prison van are two inmates who are seriously injured. Attempting to pry open the reinforced door is a Good Samaritan who happened to be among the first respondents to the violent accident.
He finally gets the door open. Closer examination of the metal frame which it was locked on reveals the blood of several passengers who were incapacitated in the mishap.
The prisoner, inmate number one as we’ll call him, now being removed from the wreckage complains of acute back pain. Those around him fear he’s paralyzed. He is dragged out nonetheless and placed on the ground near the vehicle. He appears to be disconcerted and amidst his babble he’s asking for someone to call an ambulance.
Elsewhere residents from neighboring Rhaburn’s Ridge have responded to the scene to render assistance. They are trying to turn the van right side up in an attempt to rescue the remaining convict trapped inside. Behind the gridiron door he is also complaining of injury to his lower back as he moans in discomfort. With great effort they are able to return the vehicle to its upright position as it comes crashing down on all four wheels. The inmate inside wails in pain as again the shirtless Samaritan and a police officer are trying to free him from the cage.
His outstretched body lays across the bloodstained seat, his moans consistent. Outside the other inmate who was placed on the ground moments earlier is being carried to a waiting vehicle. The pickup is being loaded with injured prisoners. Among them is this man a condemned murderer. His head is bleeding profusely. With his shirt he has tied an improvised tourniquet to slow the hemorrhage. The vehicle takes off toward Orange Walk Town where they are being transported to the Northern Regional Hospital.
Inmate number one is being placed on a stretcher and lifted into the pan of another pickup. His colleague, inmate number two, is being lifted by a team of police officers and firemen as he is also carried to the truck. The two are placed side by side before heading north for emergency treatment.
At news time, most of the prisoners remain hospitalized.