Saturday 25 November 2017

Irish motorbike crash claims life of Chilean TV star

The scene of the crash which killed Ricardo Godoy and local man Ferdinand Waldel
The scene of the crash which killed Ricardo Godoy and local man Ferdinand Waldel

Pat Flynn

ONE of two men killed in a horrific motorcycle crash on Thursday was a television celebrity in his native Chile.

The pair died when their motorcycles were in collision on the N67 Lisdoonvarna to Ennistymon road in north Clare at around 6.45pm.

Ricardo 'Ricky' Godoy, 53, was an adventurer and host of Chilean cable TV motorcycle show Mototematicos.

The second victim of the crash has been named locally as Ferdinand Waidel, a 55-year-old German national who had been living in Clare for about 14 years. Mr Waidel is understood to have been returning home from shopping in Ennistymon when the tragedy happened.

Mr Godoy was driving in the opposite direction in a group of six people travelling on three motorcycles. His wife Pilar, the pillion passenger, was also injured in the collision.

Emergency crews found a horrific scene when they arrived. Both motorcycles burst into fire in the impact, while Mr Waidel was also engulfed in flames. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

As paramedics battled to resuscitate Mr Godoy, the Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) air ambulance was called in to airlift him to hospital. However, he was also pronounced dead while being transported by ambulance to the helicopter.

His wife was later airlifted to Galway University Hospital, where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Mr Godoy travelled around the world filming for his motorcycle show Mototematicos and is understood to have visited the Isle of Man last weekend for the TT races.

His death was reported in the local media in Chile within hours of the tragedy while hundreds of tributes have since been left for him on social media sites.

Detective Inspector John Galvin said: "We know the identity of the victims and we are still liaising with the authorities in Germany and Chile in our efforts to ensure we contact all next of kin. We have interviewed the other members of the group and they have made statements.

"We are investigating all the circumstances of this incident but it would appear to be a tragic accident. One of the motorcyclists was entering the bend while the other was coming out of it when they made contact," Det Insp Galvin added.

The remaining members of Mr Godoy's group are expected to return to Chile in the coming days while efforts are also ongoing to repatriate his remains back to his native country.

Sunday Independent

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