The family of Yolanda Valencia wins civil suit against Deputy ComPol Miguel Segura

Vendor of San Jose Succotz, Yolanda Valencia, died in August of 2014 when her taxi driven by Yanie Cu was involved in a collision with the vlcsnap-2016-04-18-11h20m20s476vehicle belonging to Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura.  Segura was found to be drunk and his behavior at the scene was captured on video and prompted public outrage. Last August, Yolanda’s family sued Segura and the Government of Belize for damages and the matter has been settled to the tune of $70,000. Justice Shona Griffith handed down the decision on Tuesday. Kareem Musa, who along with Brian Neal represented the family, said that talks between both sides had been ongoing, primarily to determine the level of damages as it was clear from the evidence provided to them that Segura was at fault. Yanie Cu, who also suffered life-threatening injuries, recovered and testified on behalf of the Valencia family, establishing that Segura and he were on the same side of the road and his attempts to veer away from a collision proved not to work. The Government foots the entire bill as Segura is a public servant – albeit currently under interdiction. He still faces criminal charges for the incident.  We note that Segura’s own witness statement as revealed today suggests that he was taken home for about an hour on the day of the incident before submitting to a blood alcohol test – and that he drank “some whiskey” as he was distraught by his ordeal. While Musa notes that there is no real way to determine what a life is worth, the established formula takes into account how much longer Valencia would be working and her potential earnings. Musa said that as part of the settlement terms, the Government has committed to paying this sum within a month and a half from now. He expects that the Government will not delay in disbursing this payment past that time. Today we caught up with vlcsnap-2016-04-18-11h20m12s503Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie in Belize City and asked his thoughts about the recent vlcsnap-2016-04-18-11h20m01s286settlement of the civil case involving his substantive but indicted deputy, Miguel Segura, and the Valencia family. The Commissioner said that as Segura is a public servant, it was the Government’s choice to settle and the Government who will pay. According to the Commissioner, Segura remains under interdiction on half-pay; in addition to his criminal charges, he faces a disciplinary charge with the Security Services Commission. At Segura’s request, that matter is on hold pending the result of the criminal trial.

 

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