(QCOSTARICA) The protest by hundreds of porteadores (informal taxis) on Wednesday impeded an ambulance rushing a seriously injured child to hospital and the indirect cause of the accident resulting in the injury of another and the death of two women.
The accident occurred on the Bernardo Soto highway, west of the San Jose airport, on the westbound lanes at first exit past the small bridge, around 3:15pm. See graphic below.
To avoid the blockade by the porteadores, the woman driving a Toyota Corolla, decided to make an illegal u-turn from the eastbound lanes of the highway onto the parallel road that runs along the north side, crossing the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer that despite applying its brakes could not avoid the hitting small vehicle, dragging it for some distance.
From the impact, the two ladies in the front seat (whose identity was not released to the press) died at the scene.The two children in the rear seat suffered serious injuries.
Transit authorities confirmed that the blockade hampered the Cruz Roja from rushing the boy to the Children’s Hospital (Hospital Nacional de Niños – HNN)) in downtown San Jose by ambulance. A helicopter of the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea (police air surveillance unit) was called in for the emergency.
“During the day, cars were making illegal turns to the Villa Bonita entrance. The car head of the Toyota made the turn successfully (…),” said transit official Mauricio Piedra.
A witness to the accident, Maria Alvarez, reported: “The trailer had the gray car pressed in its front end. When we arrived, the boy was screaming to please get him out, while the girl was silent. The women were lifeless. ”
The director of the HNN, Olga Arguedas, confirmed the boy arrived at the medical centre in delicate condition, but conscious, with a fractured right tibia and fibula, and wound to the forehead. The 14-year-old girl, in less serious condition, was taken to the Hospital de Alajuela, not far from the scene of the accident.
The protester action in the area of the airport was part of a series of protests across the Central Valley, including Casa Presidencial (government house), to pressure the Ministry of Transport’s decision to curtail and not renew a number of permits for the informal taxi service.
The following graphic of the accident was prepared by La Nacion from the Policia de Transito report.