Maltese archaeology student dies in Belize traffic fatality [Video]

23-year-old dies with two other students in taxi while on the way to airport; family issues statement.

Angie Bugeja
Angie Bugeja

A 23-year-old Maltese national, Angie Bugeja, of Pietà, was reported to have lost her life in a traffic accident while on holiday in Belize. reported the quadruple fatality on the Western Highway on Tuesday, 2 July, which killed three international students and their taxi driver.

24-year-old Molly Hude was a US University student who worked as the Supervisor for the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project. 25-year-old Ioanna Thomompaulou, and 23-year-old Angela Bugeja were working in Athens.

In a statement issued through the government, Bugeja's family expressed its sorrow at the loss of their daughter and urged the media to respect their privacy.

"Our family is devastated and our hearts are heavy with the loss of our beautiful girl Angie who lost her life in a traffic accident in Belize yesterday," the statement said.

"Angie was a loveable daughter, full of life and with great expectations for the future. She was in Belize on a project as part of her studies for Masters degree and when the accident happened she was on her way back home via the United States."

Her family also expressed their condolences to the relatives of the other two students.

"Our thoughts, prayers and our hearts go out to the families of her two colleagues who tragically perished with our dearest daughter in the same accident.

"We sincerely ask the media to respect our privacy in this moment of immense sorrow and thank all those who have Angie in their hearts and minds right now."

The collision between the taxi and a bus happened near the Busman Arnold Bridge. The Westline Bus which was heading to the direction of San Ignacio when it had a head-on collision with the white taxi car.

Three of the victims died on the spot, while the fourth was recovered by the authorities, where she was transported to Belmopan hospital. She died while undergoing treatment.

Bugeja last accessed her Facebook on Tuesday morning at 2:30am, posting a comment on her friend Molly Hude's photo, uploaded that same night.

Usbaldo Castillo, from the Westline bus service, said that the taxi had run into the front of the bus had collided in front of the bus on the driver's side. "By the time I had reached the scene they had already taken out one of the passengers that was in the accident to the Belmopan hospital - I later learned that this person was a female and she also passed away so that makes four fatalities."

The driver was identified as 64-year-old Eliseo Chan, and his three female passengers, Molly Hude, Angela Bugeja, and Ioanna Thomopoulou, all international students, passed away. The occupants of the bus all survived.

One of the witnesses, Abner Chan, said that the taxi had lost control and that the bus driver tried avoiding it as much as he could, but the taxi ended up under the bus.

Ian Valerio, the driver of the bus, said he was coming down the hill by the Orange Gallery at 15 miles an hour. "When I approached the bridge I saw a white car banged around the curve coming down too and when he banged down the curve he banged way into the lane where I was coming on the bridge, so when he banged into that lane he swerved back into his lane. When he swerved back into his lane, I don't know what threw him back across into my lane and that is how he came right into the front of the bus.

"I tried everything - I ended up way on the edge of the railing."

The three women were all restoration and archaelogy students working on archeology projects in Belize and who had links to the University of Kent and the Athens University of Business and Economics.

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Dear Angie rest in Peace And may the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of All Comfort, be with your parents and all those whose lives you touched during your short stay on this earth