By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A car that jumped the sidewalk along Copacabana Beach in the Zona Sul (South Zone) of Rio de Janeiro, left an eight-month-old baby dead and sixteen people injured. The tragic accident happened around 8:30 PM last evening, January 18th.
Antonio Almeida Anaquim was driving along Avenida Atlântica near Rua Figueiredo de Magalhães when he suffered an epileptic attack and lost control of the vehicle. According to DETRAN (the state transit authority), Mr. Anaquim has had a suspended drivers license since May 2014.
Darlan Rocha, age 27, the father of the baby who died in the incident, said the child’s mother had also been run over and her condition was serious. “How does a person suffering from epilepsy have a driver’s license? They should not have a driver’s license nor to be on the street. He killed my daughter, how am I going to live now?”
According to the Municipal Health Department, among the wounded there is an Australian, who is in serious condition at the Souza Aguiar Municipal Hospital.
In 2013 a traffic study revealed that every twenty minutes there is a traffic-related accident in the city of Rio, an alarming increase over the previous five years.
At the time a 63 percent increase in car ownership in Rio, alcohol consumption and, most notably, negligence of traffic rules, have all been cited as explanations for the high rates of accidents.