Girl, 8, is hit and killed by a rally car ‘after running across racetrack to see her sister’


Girl, 8, is hit and killed by a rally car ‘after running across racetrack to see her sister’

  • Tragedy occurred during the 63rd edition of the Madeira Wine Rally in Madeira
  • She was rushed to hospital, but died shortly after at Dr Nelio Mendonca Hospital
  • Reports said she had mistakenly believed the last vehicle had already gone by
  • TV footage showed the moment the car that hit the girl came to a stop in a cloud

An eight-year-old girl has been killed at a rally in Madeira.

The youngster is said to have been hit by a car traveling at high speed as she crossed the road to join up with two older children, including her sister.

Local reports said she had mistakenly believed the last vehicle had already gone by when she decided to run onto the rally circuit.

She was rushed to hospital following the accident on Saturday afternoon but died shortly after arrival at Dr Nelio Mendonca Hospital in the island capital Funchal.

The tragedy occurred during the 63rd edition of the Madeira Wine Rally, the most prestigious and historic motor racing event in Madeira.

Local reports said she had mistakenly believed the last vehicle had already gone by when she decided to run onto the rally circuit

TV footage showed the moment the car that hit the girl came to a stop in a cloud of white smoke after the accident as shocked onlookers moved towards the crash scene to assist, although the images of the collision itself were pixelated.

The girl, who has not been named, received prompt medical attention in the Encumeada area of ​​Madeira where the drama occurred before her hospital transfer.

Witnesses said the older girl and another youngster thought to be a friend had just crossed the road without incident when the eight-year-old attempted the same crossing and was hit.

One said: ‘I’m sure she didn’t see the car coming. It was going very fast.’

The tragedy occurred during the 63rd edition of the Madeira Wine Rally, the most prestigious and historic motor racing event in Madeira.  Pictured: Belgian Driver Freddy Loix in a Skoda Fabia S2000 during the 2010 rally

The tragedy occurred during the 63rd edition of the Madeira Wine Rally, the most prestigious and historic motor racing event in Madeira. Pictured: Belgian Driver Freddy Loix in a Skoda Fabia S2000 during the 2010 rally

Portugal's president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said: 'I send my condolences to the family and friends that are grieving'

Portugal’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said: ‘I send my condolences to the family and friends that are grieving’

Rally organizers said in a statement: ‘We regrettably confirm the youngster involved in an accident was not able to survive the injuries she suffered.

‘In this painful moment we would like to send our condolences to her family and friends.’

Portugal’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said: ‘I send my condolences to the family and friends that are grieving.’

The Madeira Wine Rally brings thousands of spectators out onto the roads to watch drivers compete through the island’s hilly terrain and natural landscapes. It is traditionally held in the late summer, in August or late July. The first edition took place in 1959.

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