Girl, 8, tragically DIES after getting hit by speeding rally car while running across racetrack

Girl, 8, tragically DIES after getting hit by speeding rally car while running across racetrack
The tragedy occurred during the 63rd edition of the Madeira Wine Rally, the most prestigious and historic motor racing event in Madeira, Portugal (@Metropoles/Twitter)

MADEIRA, PORTUGAL: An eight-year-old has died after being run over by the driver of a rally car as she tried to cross the road to get to her sister. According to reports, the girl was hit at high speed as she mistakenly thought that the last rally car had passed by before deciding to run out into the road in Madeira, Portugal. She was rushed to the hospital following the accident on Saturday, August 6, 2022, afternoon but died shortly after arriving at Dr Nelio Mendonca Hospital in the island capital Funchal.

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The tragedy occurred during the 63rd edition of the Madeira Wine Rally, the most prestigious and historic motor racing event in Madeira. According to Daily Mail, footage from the scene showed the driver of the car hitting the girl before coming to a stop in a cloud of white smoke. Shocked onlookers could then be seen moving towards the crash to try and help. The girl, who has not been named, was treated by paramedics at the scene before being taken to the hospital. 

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Witnesses present during the rally said the older girl and another youngster thought to be a friend had just crossed the road without any harm and when the eight-year-old attempted the same, she was hit. One onlooker from the scene said, "I’m sure she didn’t see the car coming. It was going very fast."

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"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", rally organizers said in a statement, according to the same news outlet. 

President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on September 21, 2021 at U.N. headquarters in New York City. More than 100 heads of state or government are attending the session in person, although the size of delegations is smaller due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa addresses the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly on September 21, 2021, at UN headquarters in New York City (Timothy A Clary-Pool/Getty Images)

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Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa sent his condolences "to the family and friends that are grieving". A statement released by the FIA, the governing body for world motorsport, said, "The FIA joins the organisers & participants of Rali Vinho da Madeira in Portugal, round 3 of the FIA Iberian Rally Trophy, in sending its most sincere condolences to the family of the young female spectator who passed away as a result of an incident that occurred during Stage 17."

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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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According to Wikipedia, on the first stage of the 1986 Rally Portugal, Joaquim Santos lost control of his Ford RS200 while trying to avoid spectators on the road, crashing into a crowd of spectators, killing three and injuring over thirty. All the factory teams -- Audi, Austin Rover, Ford, Lancia, Peugeot, and Volkswagen -- later withdrew from the event.

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