At the end of last year we reported on a major collision on the Western Highway that happened on Boxing Day on the outskirts of San Ignacio Town.
A D-Max pickup truck driven by 20-year old Ian Vega crashed into a minivan belonging to the Windy Hill Resort. Passengers inside the van were Erlin Puk, Reina Ruiz and Luis Polanco – all workers of Windyhill. Erlin Puk suffered a broken leg, while Renia Ruiz received injuries to her leg and chest.
The most seriously hurt was driver, Luis Polanco- who received severe head injuries and was hospitalized in a coma at the Belize Healthcare Partners.
Polanco was given a 50/50 chance of survival, but on January 2 at about 6am, he succumbed to his injuries while undergoing surgery. According to police, 20-year old Ian Vega who was traveling in the opposite direction, veered into the lane of the minivan.
Many suggested that Vega was driving under the influence that morning, but 1 month later, the family still has not received any information from police as to whether a blood test was even performed to determine whether or not alcohol was a factor.
And that’s not all! Even though police had found 20-year old Ian Vega to be at fault in the accident and served him with a notice of intended prosecution for driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, the family of Polanco told us that no charges have been made by police on Vega and since the accident, they have only been given the run around.
His wife, Julia Polanco stopped by our studios to give us her very sad story of all that has gone wrong after her husband’s death.
Julia Polanco – Wife of Luis Polanco
“We haven’t gotten any contact from Mr. Vega’s family as yet, and we know that they are insured. We went to the insurance company, and they said that if they don’t move, and the police don’t move, then they won’t do anything. So, we went to the police station, and we know that they had signed an arrest, and the police station hasn’t done a thing. The commissioner of police took the paper back to Belmopan, and when we went there, they gave us the run-around. We haven’t gotten anything from them. So we need to know what is going on. We need to know what is happening with this because I know it’s hard for me. I have two kids; we’re still mourning the death of my husband, but we also need to pay the bills that we owe. The insurance is not doing anything, and the Vegas haven’t called or anything. They haven’t said anything about this. And we know for sure that he is here already. Nothing has been done as yet, and every time we ask for information at the police station, they send us to different officers, and they don’t give us anything. So we need to know why they haven’t arrested this guy as yet, since they already sent the files already. And why did the commissioner take the papers back to Belmopan? They don’t know; they don’t have any explanation to give us, and we just want to know why is this holding up.”
“Was his alcohol level even tested? Were you guys informed about that? Did you guys get any report on that?
“No, we didn’t get any report on that; we don’t know anything about that. I don’t know what happened so I could never tell you if he was or wasn’t, because we don’t know. We know for a fact that this guy is Mr. Vega, the Deputy Prime Minister’s nephew, so I don’t know if it’s because of that that they’re doing all of this. But this is a person who died. It’s my husband; it’s someone who died out there. It’s not just a thing that he did, and it’s just to be forgotten. Probably, he has forgotten already what he has done, but our family, myself, my kids, we’re still going through this. We are still battling out the absence of their dad – of my husband – at home. And this guy has forgotten. I went there yesterday, and we spent almost all day trying to get something from the police. It hurts because they don’t have any – I believe that they don’t put their hands on their heart, know that there was a person who was going to work, and this guy just came and he went back to his life. He’s at school, and they’re not doing anything.”
We did call Ian Vega for his side of the story, but he told us he had no comment and that his insurance already dealt with it.
The police handling of the incident warrants scrutiny, because Vega is the Deputy Prime Minister’s nephew.
Polanco’s family plans to seek advice from an attorney.