A combinaton of speed and torrential rains may be the cause of the crash on Sunday, on the Ruta 27, that claimed the lives of five and sent four others to the hospital.
The Policia de Transito and the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) – Traffic and Judicial police, respectively, – added that the driver one of the vehicles involved in the fatal accident (a 1988 Honda) did not have a driver’s license and the vehicle was not current with the Riteve, the annual vehicular inspection, which was due last month.
The crash occurred around 3:30 pm on Sunday, at kilometer 56 of the Ruta 27, known as La Chanchera, in Coyolar de Orotina, Alajuela, east of the Pozon tolls, past the food and souvernir stands. This stretch of road is a straightaway, with bus bays on both sides and the maximum speed limit is 80 km/h.
Anyone who has driven this section of road knows well drivers often use it as a speedway and as traffic police try to control it with radar check points.
According to witnesses and the reports by the Policia de Transito and the OIJ, the vehicles, the Honda and a 2005 Dahaitsu Terios, each at maximum capacity of 5 passengers, when they crashed into each other.
The report says the Honda was traveling in the Orotina – Caldera direction when it first skidded and then began to spin around, ending up in the opposite lane, when it was hit by the Terios in the rear, both vehicles now in the Caldera – Orotina direction.
Transito official Freddy Jiménez Bermúdez, of the Orotina station, noted that at the moment of the crash the rains were “torrential”, common in that area during the rainy season.
Four of the fatalities were riding in the Honda: Norma Cristina Molina Gonzalez, 39 (who died in hospital); her two sons, Marco Jafet Peraza Molina, 21 (who was at the wheel) and her seven year old boy; and, Jason Alberto Mora Guerrero, 22, a friend of the family. The latter three died at the scene. All were residents of San Mateo and (Jason Mora) from San Pablo de Turrubares.
The fifth fatality was Gilbert Umaña Rodriguez, 77, a resident of Rio Oro de Santa Ana, who was traveling in the rear seat of the Terios.
In the crash, four women were seriously injured.
In the Terios: Wendy Cristina Núñez Rivera, 31; her mother, María Elena Rivera Umaña, 58 (the driver) and María Eugenia Umaña Umaña, 68, (Gilbert Umaña’s wife). In the Honda, Angélica Campos Méndez, 18.
Andrés Peraza Molina, son of Norma and brother of Marco and the 7-year-old, told La Nacion that his family was going to the La Pista soda, located near the Pozon tolls, in front of the Transito police station.
“They were going to pick up food for my grandfather’s 75th birthday party. I would have gone with them, but since I was with my girlfiriend, I did not want to leave her alone,” said Andrés Peraza.
Andrés Peraza explained that the soda is owned by his mother and that Jason Mora was traveling in the car because he was Marco’s best friend and Angelica Campos was Marco’s girlfriend.
“I can tell you that the party there was cake and a family meal, but there was no liquor,” said Andrés Peraza, who admitted to the La Nacion reporter that his brother did not have a driver’s license, as he had failed the test several times.
“He was ready to take the test again, but the car did not have Riteve*,” he added.
The funeral for the mother and her two chidlren was held this morning, Tuesday, in the San Mateo Catholic church.
* Vehicles used in the driver’s road test must be current with the Marchamo and Riteve