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Woman knocked down and killed as she attempted to cross upgraded section of highway Print E-mail
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Friday, 08 February 2019 00:00

Marlena Mortis, a 23-year-old teacher from Buttonwood Bay in Belize City, died in a road traffic accident between Miles 2 and 3 on the Philip Goldson Highway. She was attempting to jump over the barriers that are now a part of the newly repaired highway. Unfortunately, she ended up in the path of oncoming traffic, and she was hit.

Police say that at around 6:30 a.m., on Monday, February 4th, 2019, they responded to the traffic accident report in the area. This location is a very short distance away from DK Supermarket, and that’s where they found Mortis’ body on the ground. She had suffered massive head and body injuries after she was hit by a vehicle, which was heading toward Belize City.

Police’s initial investigation reveals that Mortis tried to jump over the cement barriers, which now partitions off the highway into three separate lanes. That’s when two vehicles were heading toward Belize City, and as soon as Mortis got over one of the barriers, she ended up in the path of one of the vehicles. She was then struck by the vehicle, and the impact flung her body into the highway. She suffered injuries, which claimed her life.

Her neighbors say that she was a mother, and a teacher who was posted in Placencia. She is described as a warm and friendly person by those who knew her best.

Her passing has sparked a discussion about the dangers of having these cement barriers on the road. Residents of Buttonwood Bay and Belama tell the press that they are frustrated with the design of this section of the Philip Goldson Highway, after the construction works have been completed. They say that they have to walk about a quarter mile in each direction to find the roundabout for safe crossing of the highway, when they can simply climb over the barriers and reach to the other side. They say that this is especially challenging for children who often miss the bus to school, because they can’t cross the road quickly enough.

They want these barriers removed, or some sort of pedestrian cross built to allow for safe passage that is closer. One resident, Meryl Bowden, told the media that she knows that she is risking her life, but she will continue to do so.