North Texas

Dallas Woman, 77, Killed When Van Flips in Belize

It was the second deadly incident involving North Texans in Belize this week

A Dallas woman was killed Thursday in a vehicle accident in Belize — the second such incident this week involving North Texans.  

Carolyn Moxley Gillis, 77, was traveling with six members of her family on a cruise. They had gone on an on-shore excursion when a rear tire of their van blew out near Carmelita, Belize local officials said. 

The vehicle flipped multiple times. Gillis was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the van. She died at the scene, officials said. 

Gillis' family members, including three children, were treated at the Northern Regional Hospital for their injuries.

Their driver and tour guide was hospitalized in stable condition. 

Gillis, a Lake Highlands residents, had been a long-time member of Wilshire Baptist Church in Lakewood, which she attended since 1966, associate pastor Mark Wingfield said.

The death of someone "so deeply engaged and enmeshed in other people's lives" leaves a ripple effect, Wingfield said.

Wingfield, who also leads a travel group, had gone on several trips with Gillis and her husband, John, including one in September to Oregon.

She loved to travel and had been on the cruise with her husband, their son, his wife and their children, Wingfield said.

Gillis was "exceptionally generous" and kind and had a curious mind, Wingfield said.

She "never met a stranger," he said. "The kind of person who connected people. She didn't know just a few people, she knew hundreds of people. She didn't just know them, she was connected to them."

Services are pending.

Royal Caribbean issued the following statement Saturday.

“Our sincere condolences go out to those affected by the tragic loss of our guest who was involved in a fatal vehicle accident yesterday during an independent shore excursion in Belize. Our Care Team is on site providing full support to the family members and traveling companions during this difficult time.”

The incident that killed Gillis happened a day after seven people, including a Grand Prairie couple, were killed in a bus crash in Belize.

Adrian and Sara Armijo had also been taking a cruise and were on a bus tour. Five other family members were injured in the crash and were transported to a hospital in Florida.

NBC 5's Yona Gavino contributed to this report.

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