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Alleged Drunk Driver Charged in Connection With Fatal RTA in Ladyville

Mar 20, 2023

Alleged Drunk Driver Charged in Connection With Fatal RTA in Ladyville

Joshua Martinez

A fifty-two-year-old Belize City resident is tonight behind bars for the death of a twenty-three-year-old Belize City disc jockey.  Fifty-two-year-old Manuel Ramos is being accused of driving under the influence of alcohol beyond the prescribed limit, after his red Chevy Colorado collided into another vehicle on the Phillip Goldson Highway and claimed the life of twenty-three-year-old Joshua Martinez. The accident happened at around four thirty a.m. on Saturday while Martinez and a group of friends were heading to a night club in Ladyville. Joshua’s family has been stricken with grief since the incident, while the alleged drunk driver is facing a slew of charges. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.

Paul Lopez, Reporting

Twenty-two-year-old Joshua Martinez lost his life on the Phillip Goldson Highway just before five a.m. on Saturday. According to his family, Martinez was travelling from Belize City to a nightclub in Ladyville when he ran into some mechanical issues just across the highway from the Our Lady of the Way R.C. School.

Keisha Zuniga

Keisha Zuniga, Aunt of Deceased

“He was driving the vehicle and it shut down on the road. So, he parked on the side of the road. When he parked on the side of the road, he called his friends who were at Eruptions for assistance, to give him a jump. So the friends, coming back down, they were coming to assist him, parking the vehicle and everything. My nephew standing there with the jumper cable in his hand”

The police department’s account of what led Martinez to that location is different from the story being told by his family. According to investigators, Martinez and a police officer, PC David Griffith, were there rendering assistance to a friend who was facing some mechanical issues. Notwithstanding the circumstances that placed Martinez along the highway, police say that while there a red Chevy Colorado collided into an open door of one of the parked vehicles.

Fitzroy Yearwood

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, B.P.D.

“We know that Joshua Martinez and a police officer, David Griffith, was somewhere on the Phillip Goldson Highway near the Catholic Church where a friend of theirs vehicle was experiencing mechanical problems. They stopped to render aid, when a young man Usher, the driver of that vehicle, when a Colorado pickup driven at the time by Manuel Ramos slammed into the door of one of the vehicles that was left open. That caught Mr. Martinez and Griffith. Luckily, Mr. Griffith was not seriously injured.”

Keisha Zuniga

“I don’t know where this person came from he just slapped my nephew so hard nuh, he flung my nephew a distance from where he was in his vehicle. It was a hard hit, because if you look at the impact, the vehicle door flew off. My nephew got a very hard hit.”

Martinez was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. PC Griffith is being treated for injuries to his legs. The driver of the red pickup truck has been identified as fifty-two-year-old Manuel Ramos.

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“We know that Mr. Ramos has since been charged with traffic related offenses and he has also been charged for driving with alcohol above the prescribed limit. We know that in the not too far future, we will see other charges levied against him, in connection with Mr. Usher and PC Griffith that were injured on the scene during this accident actually.”

Keisha Zuniga

“He was intoxicated indeed. I was being told he was intoxicated, because when he came out of the vehicle he held his head like, is this what I did? Yes, that is what you did. You caused a pain. You placed a hole in my family’s heart. He did us very bad, because my sister doesn’t even have the strength to speak. I am the strong one standing beside her and I have to speak on behalf of her. He doesn’t know what he did to my family. He placed a hole in my sister’s heart cause that is my sister’s oldest child.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.