Press "Enter" to skip to content

15 injured, one dead after driver plows through tourist area of Copacabana

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro — At least 15 people have been injured after a compact car impeded the Copacabana Beach promenade in Rio de Janeiro.

Hundreds of people, who were reported as being mostly tourists, were walking along the popular beach promenade Thursday night when a speeding car came crashing through the pedestrian area before coming to a stop in the sand.

Among the reported 15 injured was one death, that of an 8-month-old baby. Hundreds of people were walking in the tourist area of the city when, firefighters say a man driving a black Hyundai, crashed through the crowds during the night, the most busy time for the area.

Witnesses stated that the vehicle was traveling at a high speed and that the driver suddenly turned to the right and climbed onto the promenade.

“There were many people on the sidewalk. There were even people under the car,” said an Argentine tourist who witnessed the event.

According to EFE Spain media, the driver, a 41-year-old man, said he had an epileptic seizure. The Globo chain reported that medicines used in the treatment of epilepsy were found inside the car.

The border of Copacabana beach, the most tourist beach in Rio de Janeiro, is often crowded in the evenings with people going out to run and cycle along its bike path, while others arrive to meet at the numerous kiosks.

The driver of the car has been arrested while police investigate the cause of the accident.