Guatemala Police have launched a manhunt after 18 indigenous Guatemalans were killed in a hit-and-run by a truck driver who fled the scene.
The Central American nation announced three days of mourning after the incident which occured Wednesday night March 27th in the western town of Nahuala. A group of people had converged at the entrance of the town, at the scene of another hit-and-run where a local community leader was killed, when they in turn were hit by a truck with its lights off on a road without street lighting.
Chilling images from the scene showed the victims’ bodies in their brightly colored clothing laid out in a line on the asphalt, as relatives cried out in anguish. “In total there are 18 deaths that have been counted in this tragedy,” fire department spokesman Cecilio Chacaj told AFP, revising down a previous toll of 30 that he attributed to early chaos on the scene where bodies were piled up on top of another.
Three of the dead were children, Chacaj said. Another 20 people were injured in the accident, several seriously, and were being treated in hospitals.
The government announced three days of mourning starting Thursday, while President Jimmy Morales tweeted his condolences. “We are currently coordinating actions to provide all the support to the victims’ families,” he said.