A crash on the autopista General Cañas or Ruta 1 in the early hours of Thursday morning and the delayed response by authorities to clear the crash site caused San Jose – Alajuela bound traffic to back up for more than 8 kilometers (5 miles), from La Uruca.
The fatal crash occurred at 1:00 am when a passenger vehicle crashed past the Francisco J. Orlich bridge west of the Cariari exit. The driver was strewn from the vehicle and lay, covered with a white sheet to well after 7:00 am before authorities were able to begin clearing the scene.
At this point on the autopista, the turn can be tight, if excessive speeding you are on the retainer wall before you know it. Add to that the possibility of slow-moving traffic not visible until you are at the bridge and possible condensation that converts any braking action into a skid.
The passenger, whose identity was not made public, is in critical condition at the San Vicente de Paul hospital in Heredia. The driver, also not identified publicly, according to police was male, 25 years of age.
The Policia de Transito (Traffic Police) closed all Alajuela bound lanes, redirecting traffic onto the Cariari exit. Minutes before 7:00 am two lanes of the four lanes section of the General Cañas were re-opened to traffic.
Many are questioning why it took more than six hours for the respective authorities, typically a judger and/or fiscal (prosecutor) and others where there is a fatality, to arrive at the scene.
This is the second early morning crash in weeks resulting in a fatality and collapsing a major artery.
On February 23, a crash on the Circunvalacion, on the bridge over the Ruta 27, caused a similar road collapse.
Following that crash, Waler Espinoza, director of the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) explained: “the presence of a judge and fiscal is vital for them for the removal of the body; however, these officials do not always arrive immediately”.