Ultralight crash claims one life

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 14, No. 31            September 2, 2004

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Police investigate Ultralight crash site

Tragedy struck last Thursday as an afternoon shower turned a simple afternoon of pleasure into a last flight for Martin David Walker, a tourist on a four-day visit to San Pedro.

    An eyewitness to the crash explained that Walker and a female passenger taxied down the San Pedro runway at approximately 3:15 p.m. in Walker’s ultralight aircraft. Reportedly, just as Walker was taking off, in the middle of a steep climb, an updraft from a sudden rainstorm (squall) lifted the aircraft into the air, flipped it backwards (twice) and then sent the ultralight and its two passengers crashing to the ground.

    According to a San Pedro police report, acting on information received, officers visited the scene of the crash where they found Martin David Walker, 41, businessman/tourist from Louisiana, USA and Gay Stanley Mayeux, 49, tourist, also of Louisiana, USA suffering from injuries received in the crash. Police then transported the crash victims to the airport where they were rushed to Belize City for emergency medical treatment.

    Further reports revealed that Walker succumbed to his injuries shortly after arrival on the mainland. Other information revealed that his passenger was flown to Houston, USA for treatment of severe back injuries. 

    Interviews with local residents, who had minimal information on the deceased, revealed that the man was traveling with another companion and each had brought their ultralight airplanes to Belize. The men were reportedly involved with raising money for a children’s charitable organization. According to one report, early Thursday morning, Walker was raving about his visit to Ambergris Caye, stating what an incredible time he had. It was stated that he had met Mayeux only days before, upon his arrival to the island. Walker was scheduled to leave Belize the next day.

    Anyone piloting recreational aircraft is warned that sudden squalls, which generally include swift winds, are common in Belize, especially in coastal areas. Operators are warned to exercise extreme caution if these conditions arise.

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