29 year old Belize City Councilor Andrew Faber was killed along with two others in a traffic accident today.
It happened on the Placencia Road after midday. Faber was driving his maroon and gray L200 pickup truck with passengers, 26 year old Virginia Azueta - who is a visiting relative - and a friend, 27 year old Gianni Taylor.
He lost control between miles four and five and the truck overturned and landed on the shoulder of the highway which was flooded due to heavy rains. Police say it was a ditch containing about four feet of water. These pictures taken by Placencia chairman Charles Leslie Jr show the truck after it was hoisted out of the water and put back on its wheels.
Police add that all three persons received severe head and body injuries and died on the spot - while others tell us they may have drowned from being submerged in the ditch. It is not known if they heavy rains on the peninsula for the 12 hours preceding the accident may have been a complication with road conditions - but there are skid marks on the road about 300 feet form where the accident happened.
The tragic triple fatality has devastated their families - including Education Minister Patrick Faber, who was Andrew's elder brother, and the person who brought him into politics.
Also wracked with grief are Faber's fellow councilors. He was elected in 2009 and had responsibility for youth, Sports and After-School Programmes. Today we spoke to four other councilors elected in that 2009 slate and they reminisced about their colleague and contemporary:..
Dion Leslie, City Councillor
"Just disbelief. We were together on Friday and Saturday at the multicultural fair, we were hanging out, laughing, and we paraded together, so when I got the news it was just disbelief. Andrew is like a brother to me and can say we all miss him very much."
Kevin Singh, City Councillor
"I was in a state of shock, I couldn't belief it same way. I didn't belief any how until I got here and everybody was saying that Andrew really died and then I heard it on the news a while ago confirming that he was dead. He was so happy at the multicultural fair on Saturday; he was just messing around with everybody. He sat right next to me so I will be one that will miss him very much because we are always here messing around."
Roger Espejo, City Councillor
"As you know Andrew was one of the youngest councilor in the room. Perhaps one the youngest councilors ever elected and it's just a very sad day here at the council certainly a very sad day for his family. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to Minister Faber, his mother, his wife, his children. He was a family man. The youngest man in the room and he was a family man and it's just a tragic day for us."
Dion Leslie, City Councillor
"Us five, myself, Roger, Kevin, Eric and Andrew - we came into the council together as the new comers, so that was a bond that forms from long before because we came in and we stood together - we were the 5 new guys on the block and we had to learn, we stayed together and we learnt and became like brothers."
Eric Chang, City Councillor
"He is just like my brother. He always entertains everybody. At this point I can't even speak. I'll miss Andrew very much."
The mayor was also deeply saddened. She considered Faber an important ally that she could count on to carry through a vote in a council that is known to be divided.
But for her, the grief is doubled because, of the other victims, Gianni Taylor was also her close friend and former intern at the council.
Mayor Zenaida Moya
"Andrew and I - I must say for a while we have become very close. He is one of my strongest allies in the council. A lot of things have been able to go through I must say because of his support. I didn't know that he would be driving around also with Gianni. She went to Pallotti and she graduated and she recently done an internship at City Hall - she had called me and I told her that she could do her internship here."
"She is such a loving person. She would just call sometimes to wish me a happy day or tell me that I look good on TV. Both of them are so young. It just goes to show that you have to cherish life every step of the way, so of course condolences to the entire Faber family - Patrick and of course. And of course to the other individual who was kill also - who were their cousin. Condolences to all of you."
The bodies were taken to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga and will presumably be brought to Belize City for post mortem examinations.