Driver suspected of killing Costa Rican worker arrested in U.S.

February 10, 2011

The driver suspected of killing a Costa Rican transportation worker and injuring another Wednesday night was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday. The suspect was arrested by Customs and Border Protection agents upon arrival to the U.S. and is thought to be responsible for the death of Transportation Ministry (MOPT) worker Omar Lépiz on “La Platina” bridge that connects Alajuela to San José.

Around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, Lépiz and Marco Vinicio Calderón were hit as they worked on the oft-maligned bridge, which hovers above the Río Virilla on the General Cañas highway. MOPT crews have been working extensively since December to add additional lanes and improve the condition of the bridge, which has been a headache to motorists for years.

Lépiz was killed by the driver, who was reported to have been driving at a speeds exceeding 120 kph (75 mph). Lépiz was the manager of the construction crew on the bridge and had worked for MOPT for 24 years. Calderón is in critical condition. The driver was said to be driving a Kia vehicle, which was later found by Heredia police.

In wake of the accident, MOPT announced that the bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night until construction is completed. Work on the bridge is expected to be completed by Feb. 21.

Motorists expecting to travel over the bridge at those times will be diverted to detour lanes and alternative routes.

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