On Wednesday, the family of David Yáñez, the Venezuela athlete killed last Sunday by a drunk driver, received one million colones (US$1,800 dollars) from organizers of the San Jose Half Marathon.

During a press conference Wednesday, from letft to right, Laurens Molina, Dennys Yáñez, lawyer representing the Yáñez family,  Luis Cubillo and Jesús Yáñez. (Photo Rafael Murillo)

According to the family’s lawyer, Luis Cubillo Pacheco, that is the max. amount payout of the insurance policy in the case of death of a participant.

Yáñez, who was in second place at the time he was hit and killed, run over by a car whose driver, Blandón Hernández, 26, was found to be over the legal limit.

Blandón was charged with manslaughter and was released early Monday morning, on condition he has a fixed address, an impediment to leaving the country, and sign in regularly at the judicial office.

As we reported yesterday, Dennys Yáñezs said the family is facing a cost of US$15,000 to repatriate their brother to Venezuela.

Both she and her brother, Jesús, are in Costa Rica, arriving on Monday with two objectives: the first, more importantly, was to take the body of David back to the town of Tinaquillo, in the Venezuelan state of Cojedes, where the family is from.

On Tuesday, Dennys said she was hopeful for the support of the Venezuelan embassy in San Jose, but so far has not been able to speak to the consul in the country. Dennys said she had hoped that somebody from the embassy would have accompanied her and her brother in the formalities.

The second, to ensure justice for David. Dennys and Jesús have hired a lawyer to represent the family in the criminal and civil proceedings. “We have given the indications so that it continues to the last consequences, we want that justice is done,” she affirmed.

The woman clarified: “I did not come here to ask for toothpaste or came to ask for food or came to ask for money because I do not need it … my country may be going through what it is, but this is not the moment for politics, I came to take back my brother’s body.”

Dennys added that, throughout this process she has received great support from hundreds of Costa Ricans, but regretted that “a few people and organizations have turned their backs on her.”

Reaction to the insurance policy

With respect to the amount of the policy, Dennys criticized organizers, saying the amount the family will receive for her brother’s death “seems to me unfair for an elite athlete … organizers should try to create policies that cover any accident (…), that is not enough”.

Meanwhile, athlete Laurens Molina, who was a friend of the deceased, told La Nacion that here, in Costa Rica, there lacks more responsibility of the people who organize the races: “They pay a policy to meet a requirement (…),

Geen Clark, president of the Federación Costarricense de Atletismo (Fecoa) – Costa Rican Athletics Federation, said that the competition in which Yáñes participated was endorsed by the entity and complied with the requirements.

“There are race organizers that have much are much higher policies. There are policies of ¢2 million and there is one with ¢5 million (…), but the minimum is that (¢1 million), and as far as the organizer is willing to pay for (…), the requirement is to have a policy and that is what we ensure,” he added.


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