Friday 24 November 2017

Irish boy (5) dies in tragic quad bike accident in Portugal

Coimbra General Hospital
Coimbra General Hospital

Brian Byrne

A five-year-old boy from Ireland, understood to be called James, has died in a quad bike accident in Portugal.

The boy’s seven-year-old brother was critically 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 on Friday night.

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

The five-year-old boy suffered cardiac arrest in the crash but was 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 until he died in the early hours of this morning.

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

The five-year-old boy’s brother suffered multiple fractures in the incident, and later underwent surgery.

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

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

It’s 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 that the incident occurred between 100 and 200 metres away.

The man was apprehended by local police, who brought him to hospital and administered a blood test to evaluate 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’s understood the Irish boys’ father is from Ireland, and their mother is from Bangladesh.

Locals said the family moved to Portugal approximately two years ago where they purchased a small pub.

A spokesperson from Coimbra General Hospital, located nearly 200km north of the capital of Lisbon, confirmed that the tragic crash occurred on Friday.

The boy’s mother is currently at his side, added the spokesperson.

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

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