Baby killed and at least 17 injured as car hits pedestrians near Rio's Copacabana beach

The driver is suspected of having a “blackout” because of epilepsy while driving the car

(Photo: Express)
(Photo: Express)

A baby was killed and at least 17 people injured as a car ploughed into crowds on a promenade near Rio de Janeiro’s famous Copacabana beach in Brazil.

The driver, who was detained, had an epileptic fit at the wheel. Colonel Angelotti from the local police force has confirmed the driver is suspected of having a “blackout” because of epilepsy. The police chief said a box of medicine was found in his car.

He reportedly tried to escape but was arrested by the police.

The badly damaged car came to a stop on the beach.

Colonel Angelotti said: “My staff did not notice evidence of drunkenness, but he will undergo tests at the Medical-Legal Institute.”

At least 17 people were injured (Photo: Express)
At least 17 people were injured (Photo: Express)

When the police arrived on the scene they revealed that there was a lot of aggression being directed at the driver by bystanders.

The Colonel added: “We got there in time to keep him from being lynched.”

Live television pictures showed victims lying on the sand and pavement, receiving emergency medical treatment.

Eyewitnesses were quoted by Globo News network as saying the car went over a bicycle path and across the promenade, hitting people and crashing through the tables and chairs of a cafe.

At least seven adults and two children have been taken to a hospital.

A police official confirmed that the accident was not a terrorist act.

Speaking to local media, Daria Lasmar, 40, who helped try to save the baby that died at the scene, said medical staff spent 50 minutes trying to resuscitate the child.

“When I put my foot on the boardwalk, the car raided and ran over several people. I approached the mother, she was crying a lot, saying that she had a lot of pain in her leg,” she said.

“She was saying ‘my baby’ and I asked if she was pregnant and she just repeated it. The grandmother appeared with the baby, but she was already fainting. She took the baby and the city guards cleared the way and took us in the car. Unfortunately, she died.”

An investigation is continuing.

The promenade of Copacabana's crescent-shaped beach is popular with Rio residents and tourists.