Coast Guard officer fatally hit by 18-wheel container truck

INDEPENDENCE, Stann Creek District, Tues. Sept. 8, 2020– At about 7:30 last night, Jerry Anthony Pop, 20, an officer of the Belize Coast Guard, was knocked down by a container truck while he was jogging on the Southern Highway between Miles 46 and 47 near Independence.

Pop suffered massive head and body injuries as a result of being hit by the massive vehicle. He was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

The driver of the truck, Pedro Ico, 56, told police that he was driving the 18-wheeler truck, loaded with bananas, to the Port of Big Creek from Swasey.

As he turned a curve in the road, Ico told police, he saw a man running almost in front of the truck, and he tried to avoid hitting him, but was unable to do so.

Police said that on their arrival at the scene, they saw a man lying face-up on the right side of the road. He was motionless and had severe head and body injuries.

The victim was identified as Pedro Anthony Pop of the Belize Coast Guard. Ico was served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.

Rojelia Choc, a shop owner of San Antonio, Toledo District, who was travelling to San Antonio in her vehicle from Bar Haven in Ladyville, near the Old Price Barracks entrance, mentioned in a post on her Facebook page that she saw the incident and thought that the headlights of the truck didn’t seem bright enough, and that the truck’s brakes may have been faulty, because the truck took over a mile to stop.

She also noted in the Facebook post that although she was present at the scene of the accident, the police did not ask her for a statement. Police, instead, told her not to take pictures of the incident.

Choc also said that she sent a man on a motorcycle to the truck to tell the driver not to leave and to wait for the police, and she was the person who called police and reported the collision.

Choc went on to reveal in her Facebook post that she saw the young man lose his life, and she is finding it difficult to cope emotionally. She said that police had told her that they would contact her for a statement, but they have not done so as yet.

Today, the Commandant and staff of the Belize Coast Guard expressed their deepest condolences on the untimely passing of 1545 SNAP Jerry Anthony Pop. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Many of Pop’s colleagues and friends, as well, extended condolences to his family on Facebook.

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