32 dead after truck hits gathered crowd in Guatemala

Pat Wise
March 30, 2019

At least 18 people who gathered around the victim of a fatal traffic accident on a Guatemala highway Wednesday were themselves killed by a trailer truck that came around a curve and mowed them down.

Bodies of the victims of the accident in Nahualá.

The semi-trailer truck fled the scene after the accident.

Eighteen people died in the crash, with another 15 people being treated for injuries at local hospitals.

The truck was apparently travelling without its headlights on.

"For reasons unknown, he ran over several people, leaving 18 dead, including a child under eight years of age", Castillo said. Photos showed bloodstains, shoes and other debris on the asphalt amid yellow police tape.

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The crash was on the notoriously unsafe Interamerican highway, at kilometre 159, Guatemalan media said. We are now coordinating actions on providing assistance to the victims' relatives.

Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales took to Twitter to express his sadness.

The government announced three days of mourning from Thursday, March 28, while President Jimmy Morales tweeted: "We are now coordinating actions to provide all the support to the victims' families".

Local reports said the man killed in the first accident was president of the state Council of Urban and Rural Development, though authorities have not confirmed this.

A group of people had gathered on the dark road at the site of an earlier hit-and-run accident, which had killed one person, when the truck struck them.

Traffic rules are frequently ignored in Guatemala, a nation of some 16.5 million people.

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