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Thursday 28 August 2014

Quad-bike crash kills Irish boy (5) in Portugal as brother hurt – police

Brian Byrne

Published 30/06/2014 | 02:30

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Coimbra General Hospital
Coimbra General Hospital
The scene of the crash in the town of Viavai in Portugal

A five-year-old Irish boy has died in a quad-bike accident, according to reports in Portugal.

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The boy's seven-year-old brother was severely injured, and a six-year-old Portuguese boy also died when the vehicle, driven by an English construction worker, crashed in the town of Viavai in the district of Coimbra, in Portugal, on Friday night.

Local police said that none of the children were wearing helmets when the crash happened within a few hundred metres of the family's pub, which they bought two years ago.

According to the reports, the five-year-old boy suffered cardiac arrest after the crash but was then revived by emergency services at the scene. He was taken to the Children's Hospital of Coimbra where he went into cardiac arrest for a second time, but was revived again.

The boy remained in critical condition but then died in the early hours of yesterday morning. The boy's brother suffered multiple fractures and later underwent surgery.

He remains in intensive care, where his condition has been described as stable.

A spokesperson from Coimbra General Hospital, located nearly 200km north of Lisbon, said that the tragic crash occurred on Friday. The boy's mother is at his side, added the spokesperson.

Six-year-old Portuguese boy Martim Ampunes, believed to be the son of a policeman, died at the scene.

The reports said the driver of the quad bike was a 49-year-old Englishman, who was described as being "very close" to the family, particularly the father.

It is believed that he left the pub on Friday night, and asked the three children, who had been playing nearby, if they would like to take a ride on his quad bike. Local reports said the incident occurred between 100 and 200 metres away from the pub. He was apprehended by police, who brought him to hospital and administered a blood test in order to establish whether he had been drinking alcohol.

On Saturday morning, the man was taken to a criminal court in Coimbra, where he was charged with negligent homicide and failure to assist the police. He was granted bail, but ordered to hand in his ID and remain at his home to await further proceedings.

It is believed the Irish boys' father is from Ireland and their mother is from Bangladesh. Locals said the family moved to Portugal about two years ago where they bought a small pub.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said they have yet to receive a request for consular assistance in relation to the boy's death.

Resident Paulo Rodrigues, among the first on the scene after the crash, said: "It was a horrible scene as you can imagine. I couldn't believe what I was seeing at first but soon realised it was extremely serious."

Irish Independent

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