THE young Irish engineer killed while taking part in a three-wheeled motorbike race for charity in Peru died from severe head injuries.
Peter Buckley (25) was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash but the force of the impact meant he died almost instantly.
His grief-stricken parents were last night being comforted by their children at home in Courtnacuddy, just outside Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.
Peter, the youngest son from a family of nine, was taking part in the race with his friend and fellow Irishman Eamonn O'Leary when tragedy struck on Saturday.
It is believed the men were riding at an altitude of 4,000 feet through the countryside at the time of the incident and that they crashed into a ravine.
His parents, Eamonn and Mai, are said to be "devastated" by his death.
Peter is survived by his parents, four brothers, four sisters and girlfriend Clare Martin.
Mr O'Leary, who is also from Co Wexford, was treated in hospital for minor injuries after the crash.
It is believed that eight friends who had travelled to Peru with Mr Buckley are now making arrangements to repatriate his remains to his family in Co Wexford.
The Buckley family last night released a statement to the Irish Independent confirming the young man's death.
It said that the mechanical engineer, who was working in Edinburgh in Scotland, was part of a group of eight friends doing a 'Rickshaw Run' from Cuzco in the southeastern part of the country to Ayabaca in northwestern Peru to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society, Cancer Research UK and development charity Practical Action.
A post-mortem carried out yesterday revealed Mr Buckley died from severe head injuries -- and not from drowning as initially reported.
Rafael Rodriguez, a public prosecutor for the Churcampa district where the accident happened, said: "My understanding is he didn't reach the river, just the river bank.
"He would have been swept away by the force of the water if he had reached the river."
Yesterday, friends described Mr Buckley as a "dedicated sportsman" and a "gentleman".
The Department of Foreign Affairs is working with local authorities to provide ongoing assistance to the family.
The company that organises the race, the Adventurists, said it was "deeply saddened" at the death.
"Our sympathies and thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased at this incredibly difficult time," said a statement on the company's website.