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Diplomatic immunity saves American from charges in triple death Print E-mail

An accident on the George Price Highway claimed the life of 2 young women, and a 1-year-old child, all from the same family living in Bella Vista, Belize City. The driver, who may be at fault for the accident, is a US Diplomat, and he is protected from prosecution by his diplomatic immunity.

Police say that it happened sometime around 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 7, 2017, between miles 2 and 3 on the George Price Highway. 30 year-old Samantha Castillo; her 1 year-old baby, Deanna Castillo;  23 year-old Martha Mayeli Vasquez, Samantha Castillo’s sister-in-law; and an unidentified 6-year-old girl were all traveling in a blue and grey Honda Element SUV.

They had reportedly just left Old Belize, where they went to drop off Vasquez’s husband, Matthew Castillo. They were heading back to Belize City, when they slammed head-on into a grey F-150 Ford pick-up, a US Embassy vehicle, which was being driven by 31 year-old Justin Markele Guidry, a US Diplomat.

Justin Guidry was west-bound, and reports to police are that he was attempting to overtake a vehicle when he collided into the Honda Element.

The massive impact smashed up the front portions of the two vehicles killed Samantha Castillo and her baby, Deanna, on the scene. The 6 year-old child broke 2 of her legs, and Martha Vasquez suffered injuries, including a large cut wound to the head. They were rushed to the KHMH, and around 3 hours later, at 7:15, Vasquez passed away at the hospital.

There is no information on the injuries of the US Diplomat, Justin Guidry. Police have not released any details to his medical condition, his whereabouts, or whether or not he was required to perform any sort of blood alcohol tests. Reports to the press are that he was not served with a notice of intended prosecution, which is a standard matter in traffic accidents. In fact, he left the scene of the accident on Saturday afternoon, and it is being suggested that he has left the country.

This family is now grieving the loss of three of their own, and they are trying to cope. Tulio Escobar, brother of Martha Vasquez, told the media, “We cannot move on with this one. It is just too hard for the family. The baby died. She died and the next sister-in-law died. We have one niece who survived.”

In a brief press release, the US Embassy, said, “The Embassy community expresses deep shock and sadness in connection with Saturday’s tragic car accident that took three lives and injured two people, including a U.S. diplomat. Our most sincere sympathies and heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the loved ones of those who lost their lives and were affected in this terrible tragedy.”

The family is concerned that the Embassy has not reached out to them as yet, since, one of the victims, Samantha Castillo, is also a US Citizen.