Minister’s Driver Charged for Fatal hit and Run

Tonight,  57 year old Orlando Castillo, a resident of Belmopan and the driver of the Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar, is facing a slew of charges relating to a hit and run incident that occurred on Saturday June 13th. According to reports, Castillo was driving in a West to East Direction on the George Price Highway when upon reaching somewhere between miles 50 and 51  in the area of Camalote Village he knocked down a male Hispanic person who was riding on a bicycle heading in the same direction. Police arrived at the scene around 7:30 am and the victim was transported to the Western Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Supt. Howell Gillett – ­Officer Commanding, Belmopanvlcsnap-2015-06-16-10h07m18s255

“We did some preliminary work and on Saturday night, we arrested Mr. Orlando Castillo, he is a driver for the Ministry of National Security. He was brought in to custody and yesterday evening  – on  Sunday evening, we charged him  for a number of offenses related to the traffic accident. The vehicle that he was driving at the time  was a grey Jetta car, belonging to the ministry also. He was charged for manslaughter by negligence, causing death by carless conduct, drove motor vehicle without due care and attention, fail to stop and render aid, fail to report an accident, fail to specimen  meaning blood or urine sample.”


Emanuel Pech – Plus TV Reporter

“Where was the bicycle found in terms of the road.

Supt. Howell Gillett

“It was on the right hand side of the road when travelling from the a west to east direction as I alluded to earlier.”

Emanuel Pech

‘Was it on the street or more on the shoulder of the street.”

Supt. Howell Gillett

” I would not want to get into the thickness of the investigations. Just to say, what we found and those things will be brought out during the trial. There was no cover up. I ensured that we did all that we needed to do as the police to ensure that transparency and accounvlcsnap-2015-06-16-10h38m00s28accountability took place.  We know that this is a high stakes case for the obvious reason that he is a driver for a minister  and  from our ministry. So we did all that we needed to to bring transparency to the case.”

Police had listed the victim as a John Doe since no identification documents were found on him at the time. However about 5:30 this evening police were able to positively identify the victim as Vallan Paul Cucul, a caretaker of Punta Gorda town. As for Orlando Castillo, police say they have reason to suspect that he might have been under the influence when the incident occurred.

Supt. Howell Gillett

“There is a charge, to be specific, we did not get him at the time of the incident, it was a few moments after.  We along with a medical practitioner requested a blood or urine sample and he did not, hence the reason he was charged for failure to provide specimen. “


But you guys are under the impression that he was under the influence?”

Supt. Howell Gillett

“That is always a thinking when a person refuses to give a specimen but that is something yet to be litigated during the course of the trial.”

 At court this morning, Castillo was read his charges. No plea was taken from him as the case is an indictable matter. He was granted bail in the sum of $8 thousand dollars plus one or two sureties. As part of his conditions, Castillo is to surrender all travel documents, is not to leave the country without the court’s permission and is to report to the Belmopan Police Station every Thursday. Castillo is to return to court on September 7th 2015 for his next court appearance.

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