U.S. expat among the Semana Santa traffic accident victims

The Cruz Roja reported 43 violent deaths over the Semana Santa holiday, a statistic officials are saying is the largest in a decade.

Among the dead is a U.S. expat who died in a one-vehicle mishap in San Josecito de Uvita. There were at least 15 traffic deaths, said the Cruz Roja, which also reported seven water deaths and 11 deaths from firearms or knives.

The full total will not be known until later today because some cases still have not been resolved. The Cruz Roja does not usually count victims who die later at hospitals.

The Cruz Roja also reported 98 individuals were injured critically from all causes over the 10-day holiday. The Cruz Roja statistics were issued at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The victim in Uvita was identified by the Judicial Investigating Organization by the last name of  Kritzer, who was 67. Agents said he was a passenger in a vehicle driven by another expat who had the last name of  Rienhard, She is 57, they said. The driver was hospitalized in stable condition. Unofficials sources identified the victim as Matthew Kritzer.

The car plunged down a steep hillside alongside the roadway, agents said.

The Fuerza Pública said its officers detained 962 persons over the holidays and confiscated 118 kilos of marijuana as well as other drugs. Most of the arrests were for drug violations and family disputes, the agency said.

Officials said that 50 persons were detained for crimes relating to fish, animals or vegetation. This would include persons illegally bringing back plants to their homes.launch040615

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