This morning, about 54 passengers aboard a Tillett bus had a terrifying experience when it ran off the Boom-Hattieville road and ended up overturned on its right side, in a deep ditch running along the highway.
It happened just before 6:00 near the dump site.
The bus was a charter for a school trip from the Santa Clara/San Roman RC in the Corozal district, along with their teachers and their parents. The children were headed to Xunantunich, but their ill fated trip ended many miles way on the Boom road.
Fortunately no one was seriously hurt; about 20 persons, 8 students, and 12 parents and teachers, suffered minor injuries. The conductor was the only person who ended up trapped inside the overturned bus. Fortunately, he was rescued, and everyone who got hurt in the accident were rushed to the KHMH for medical check-ups.
This afternoon, we got a chance to speak with the principal of the school this trip which ended in a near disaster:
Humberto Juarez - Principal, Santa Clara/San Roman RC School "We were heading to Xunantunich. We had 3 buses, and we had hired Tillett's bus services. 2 buses had gone a little ahead, and the third bus was following, but in the Boom cut-off, upon reaching there, apparently the driver lost control due the fact that he was feeling a little ill. That's when the bus overturned."
"We had about 54 children in the bus. There were there adults, some parents too, and the teachers who were in charge of the bus."
"The families are very concerned about the accident. The children, certainly many of them had minor injuries. Then, those that had more severe injuries, well, everybody was brought to the KHMH, and they have bee attended to and taken care of. Right now, we're just awaiting the release of about 2 more children, and 2 more parents."
Reporter "Sir, do you all have any ideas of exactly what happened to cause the driver to lose control. You said he became ill."
Humberto Juarez "Well, what we have gathered so far is that maybe he had an instance of high blood pressure, or something to that effect. That's what they told us, but right now, the driver himself right now is hospitalized."
Reporter "For you, it must have been horrific when you received the news that the bus turned over, and persons were onboard, and there might have been injuries."
Humberto Juarez "Certainly, it was. As a principal, I froze for a moment, wondering what had happened to the children, the parents. But, we starts to make the necessary calls arrangements to find out what had happened."
Police Say School Trip Was Lucky
Here's the police account of what happened:...
ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City "This morning at about six-twenty, police responded to a traffic accident on the Boom Road where upon arrival by the dump site area, they observed a Tillett Bus on the right hand side of the road leaning up on one side. They also observed several students suffering from various degrees of injuries. What we know is that the bus was traveling from Corozal enrooted to Xunantunich. It was a group of students from Santa Clara RC School that were on an educational trip to Xunantunich, when apparently the bus driver began to feel dizzy and all of a sudden he lost control and ended up on that side of the road. Unfortunately, none of the persons that were injured is presently at the hospital with minor injuries. It was about 50 passengers total in the bus comprising of students, parents and teachers from the school. The driver is still admitted. He has agreed to give a blood sample and as soon as the doctor finish with him, that sample will be provided."
Reporter "Could you say definitively how many of those students were transported for medical treatment?"
ASP Alejandro Cowo "There are about 20 persons in total. I was just told that 8 of them are students and the other 12 are parents and teachers."
Reporter "Could you say what type of injuries?"
ASP Alejandro Cowo "It's nothing serious that they received and mostly the injuries are with the parents and teachers."
Reporter "How about reports that somebody was trapped under the bus? Could you confirm or deny this?"
ASP Alejandro Cowo "Yes, somebody was trapped, but with the assistance of a backhoe that person was retrieve from the bus, but he received minor injuries, nothing that he is hospitalized. He was the conductor from the bus."
Reporter "Sir, is there any truth that the driver may have been a diabetic and failed to take his medication as necessary?"
ASP Alejandro Cowo "I cannot tell you if he was diabetic. He has commented that he was not feeling well, thats why he slowed down and apparently he lost control of the bus and that is where the bus ended up."
Police will take blood samples to find out what may have caused the driver to black out.
The KHMH classified the injuries as CODE GREEN meaning not every serious.
A Harrowing Class Trip When a Chartered Bus Overturns on the Boom Road
Twenty persons, including eight students, as well as parents and teachers were injured and had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this morning after the passenger bus they were travelling in overturned in a ditch along the Boom/Hattieville Road. The educational trip gone wrong has left many more in shock and triggered the cancellation of several other trips from the Santa Clara RC School in Corozal. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.
Duane Moody, Reporting
Students, parents and teachers from Santa Clara RC School in Corozal are shaken up tonight after the chartered Tillett bus they were travelling in overturned just after six o’clock this morning. The driver became ill and lost control of the bus which rolled over into a ditch on the Boom/Hattieville Circuit near the dumpsite.
ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City
“This morning at about six-twenty, police responded to a traffic accident on the Boom Road where upon arrival by the dump site area, they observed a Tillett Bus on the right hand side of the road leaning up on one side. They also observed several students suffering from various degrees of injuries.”
It was a frightening experience for the fifty-four passengers on the bus, who set out early this morning for a field trip that would have taken them to Xunantunich in Succotz, Western Dairies in Spanish Lookout and the Belize Zoo at mile twenty-nine on the George Price Highway, before they returned to their homes. Santa Clara resident, Ravina Jetwani was accompanying her brother on the trip. She recounts what happened.
Ravina Jetwani, Passenger
“Everybody, as I said, some were taking a nap, some were on their phone, some were eating. Since he was going at a normal pace, we didn’t really expect anything to happen by Burrell Boom station. I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but I felt something in me that said something is going to happen. And we just felt like the bus was leaning a bit, but I didn’t expect that we were going to turn over. I hugged my little brother because I was like just in case and when I felt like boom, we just went. The people on the other side fell on top of us. Like the window, some were shattered and some of us were on the floor with dust, soft drinks all over us. We were on mud. The screaming, the crying of the little children and since some of the glasses were broken as well, some of us quickly jumped out.”
Luckily, the Jetwani siblings escaped unhurt and were able to get out shortly after. It wasn’t so fortunate for about twenty-eight others who suffered various degrees of injuries and were taken to the K.H.M.H. for checkups and treatment.
“Us at the front, not too much. Just sever belly aches, backaches. My head, I got dizzy. The people at the back got injured the most; I think too ladies broke their arms. The boy that was on the engine, he got his foot stuck underneath and it took really long for him to take it out; he was screaming in pain. That’s the only thing I managed to see. It was really shocking. I felt as if I was going to faint. But thank God the majority of us are okay and for the ones that are unwell, I just hope that they get better soon.”