Popular businessman dies in traffic accident Print E-mail
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Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

Family members, friends and well-wishers have said their final goodbyes to the well-known businessman, Omar Ortiz, who died in a traffic accident on the George Price Highway.

The 46 year-old was driving his Toyota Laand Cruiser on Thursday, August 31, heading to Galen University, where he is the Vice President. At around 8:30 a.m., he was in an area between miles 30 and 31 on the George Price Highway, near Mahogany Heights, when he somehow lost control of the vehicle. It flipped over 6 times, and a vehicle he had passed on the way stopped to help him in that distress.

Those first responders found all the airbags in the vehicle deployed, and they reportedly had to cut the seatbelt to free him. He suffered an injury to the neck, and fearing that they would do more harm than good, they called and waited for an ambulance to arrive and properly transport him. That ambulance arrived from Belize City, and he was rushed to the Belize Healthcare Partners Hospital.

Unfortunately, he passed away at around 10:20 a.m., much to the shock and dismay of his family and his many friends around the country. His wife and 3 children were out of the country at the time of the accident, and they had to rush back home to make funeral arrangements. His life and accomplishments were honored at a memorial service on Monday, September 4, at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall.

Ortiz is the father of 3 children, and has worked in different parts of the public and private sector. His recent business ventures are the Zitro International Limited, a chain of money collection agencies for different companies, and a master agent for Western Union. He was said to be a strong advocate for Galen University, and he was helping to shape the tertiary institution.

Dr. Eve Aird, the Provost of Galen told the press, “He was, for all intents and purposes, the captain of the financial ship that was steering Galen through financial strategic management and planning. He was a strong member of the Galen team who ensured that we had the resources to run our academic programs, to support our academic program…”

He was also a former manager of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where his colleagues remember him for his efforts in turning things around at the Chamber which was in weathering tough financial times.

He also worked at the National Institute of Culture and History, the National Trade Negotiating Committee, the National Crime Control Committee, the National Human Development Advisory Committee, the National Occupational Safety and Health Committee, and the National Export Strategy Committee. He was also once the Chairman of the Board of the Statistical Institute of Belize.