Note from BW of Brazil:Very sad news here. It’s always tragic when a promising life is taken in such a violent fashion. Below are the details of a horrible accident in Rio that claimed the life of the medal-winning swimmer Sarah Corrêa. May justice prevail when all of the facts are discovered.
Brazilian swimmer, a medalist of the Pan American Games, confirmed brain death
Sarah Corrêa was hit by a car in Barra last Friday
Courtesy of O Dia
Saturday, the Civil Police heard the driver who ran over and killed swimmer Sarah Corrêa, 22, late on Friday, at a bus stop on Bandeirantes Highway, in Jacarepaguá, close to her home. The former athlete was confirmed brain dead this afternoon.
Besides her, Paulo Soares, 58, also hit by the car, died at the scene. According to the Civil Police, which did not release the driver’s name, he said he didn’t provide assistance because he was injured. The family, however, says he ran away from the scene.
Sarah Corrêa was a silver medalist in the 4x200m free relay of the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. A year earlier, in the South American Games in Medellín, Colômbia, she won gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay, beating the record in the competition. The athlete also passed through clubs like Flamengo, Unisanta, Minas Tênis Clube and Fluminense, that ceded its headquarters for her wake. The burial time was not yet confirmed.
“It was a brutal murder,” huffed the merchant Bismark Corrêa, 48, Sarah’s father, still at the Miguel Couto Hospital, where her daughter was tended to and died. “I hope justice is done, because he didn’t even help her. Sarah was out of the ordinary as a human being, child and athlete. She was complete.”
Even before the Secretaria Municipal de Saúde (City Health Department) confirmed the death of the young woman, her mother Maria Fátima Alves Gonçalves, expressed herself on Facebook: “My daughter was murdered by another drunken crazy man in the traffic of this city. I want justice and I will not rest.”
To O Dia, Sarah’s father said witnesses said the driver was swerving and at high speed. “He was swerving, but there’s no way to tell if he was under alcohol. It’s the police who will tell.”
In a statement, the Civil Police said the 42nd DP (precinct) initiated an investigation into the hit and run. Images of neighborhood security cameras have been requested. “The driver was heard and said that after the accident he went to the hospital and then attended the police station.” The researchers requested the medical care report of the driver. Also according to police, witnesses are being heard.
Asked about having released the driver even after two deaths, police said that the police chief decided to release him to respond in freedom.
The former swimmer participated in the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011. In the competition, she won a silver medal in the free 4x200m relays. However, despite the success in the waters, Sarah decided to shine on the runways and spotlights, and in October of last year, she announced her departure from the sport to pursue a modeling career.
Ex-swimmer is buried in the Zona Portuária of Rio
Former athlete was hit on Friday (1st) in Vargem Pequeno, in the West Zone. An inquiry was established to investigate the circumstances of the accident.
By Matheus Rodrigues
Sarah’s body was mourned and buried in Cemitério do Caju, in Zona Portuária of Rio on Monday (4). The 22 year old was hit close to home, in Vargem Pequena, in the West Zone, on Friday (1st). Besides her, Paul Person, 58, was also hit by the vehicle and died.
To bid farewell, Maria de Fátima Gonçalves made a question of dressing the girl in her Brazilian Swimming Team uniform. Shortly after 2pm, relatives carried the coffin to be buried in Cemitério do Caju.
Witnesses told the family that the driver was drunk and speeding.
“I’ll be a warrior for justice for her. I said and I repeat. My daughter sat with me at the breakfast table and said, ‘Mom, I didn’t come into the world to be just anyone’. She is making a difference now. She wants me to fight for all the mothers who are heartbroken and lost their children in a brutal manner,” said a very emotional Maria de Fátima, next to the casket.
She regretted not having been able to donate the organs of her daughter. “It was my desire, but it was not the righteousness of God.”
The father of the former swimmer, Benedito Bismark Corrêa, was also very emotional in receiving relatives and friends. A representative of the Fluminense team delivered a flag to the mother, who was placed it on the body.
According to relatives, the Sarah was going to a party Friday to meet friends from work and wanted to return to competition next year.
Camera records the accident
The trampling was recorded by a security camera installed in one of the houses on Bandeirantes highway, at the height of Vargem Pequeno. The driver moved to the left towards the bus stop and ran over two people.
A man who lives in a house opposite to the point said he was startled when he heard the noise of the car knocking down his wall. “I was in the room. When I heard the noise, I came to see, then I only saw the dust and only after the dust came down I saw it was a car,” he said.
Besides Sarah, a man identified as Paulo Soares died instantly from the accident. The young woman was even taken to Hospital Miguel Couto in Leblon, where she was diagnosed brain dead.
A resident who declined to be identified said the man who caused the accident is accustomed to driving at high speeds and that on the day of the accident he had signs of intoxication.
“The driver was visibly intoxicated and we were worried about him. We took him and asked if there were victims, he claimed that there had not been. We looked for victims and didn’t find any, but we were calm. Fifteen minutes after the arrival of firefighters, the firefighters, with their experience, they lifted and found the two people under the car. He [the driver] was accustomed to running, driving dangerously. It’s not the first time,” he said.