At least 18 killed in Guatemala as truck ploughs into crowd

Olive Hawkins
March 29, 2019

According to local reports, the truck struck the group after they had gone onto the road to help another person injured in a separate auto crash.

The accident took place near the municipality of Nahula in Solola province, west of Guatemala City.

Images from the scene show emergency services lining up the victims' bodies on the road.

Local fire department spokesperson Cecilio Chacaj said people were apparently gathered on the highway after a person was killed in a separate accident when the semi-trailer plowed into them.

Chacaj said that confusion during the early response to the accident had led his department to erroneously count the casualties.

"For reasons unknown, he ran over several people, leaving 18 dead, including a child under eight years of age", Castillo said.

Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales took to Twitter to express his sadness. We are now coordinating actions on providing assistance to the victims' relatives.

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Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales extended his condolences over the incident.

The driver then fled the scene.

The semi-trailer did not have its lights on when it struck the group of people, which may have been why the driver did not spot them, while the highway was also unlit, according to local media.

The crash is one of the country's worst traffic accidents in recent years.

In 2013, a bus plunged off a cliff in rural Guatemala, killing at least 43 people and injuring dozens.

Guatemala, a Central American country of some 16.5 million people, has a poor road safety record and traffic rules are frequently ignored.

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