British family vow to sue Portuguese “killer driver”

The family of a British tourist killed by a van in Albufeira are demanding justice after Portuguese police dropped charges against the Portuguese driver.
Heather Chambers, 40, died in front of her 10-year-old daughter Dior as she crossed the EN395 to ask for help with a flat tyre from staff at a car wash.
Her sister Naomi, who had stayed in the car with her son, told Westminster coroner’s court this week that a van carrying live chickens careered into Ms Chambers, knocking her off her feet and killing her at the roadside.
Ms Chambers was wearing a bright orange dress when the van hit her at dusk on October 23, 2012, the court heard.
Portuguese police blamed her for the accident, describing it as “human error on the part of the person on foot” and dropped any idea of a criminal action against driver Amílcar Neves Cabrita.
Police also claimed that Ms Chambers, from Surrey, was wearing dark clothes and that visibility was reduced at the time of the accident at 7.10pm.
However, her family said that they felt “fobbed off” by the Portuguese justice system and were preparing a civil prosecution to force Amílcar Cabrita to “pay for his actions”.
Naomi Chambers, who now cares for Dior, told London’s Evening Standard: “Obviously, the justice system in Portugal is different to England, but we feel fobbed off. We do feel betrayed.
“Heather died, but the driver should pay for his actions. We want real justice and without the prosecution of the driver we will never get it.”
Dior’s grandmother Meldine Chambers, 61, said: “Our solicitors are looking at a civil action against the driver. But we’ve had no help or support from the British government. Everything we’ve done, we’ve done alone.”
Westminster coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox concluded that Ms Chambers died from multiple injuries sustained in the collision.
Recording a narrative verdict, she said: “Heather Chambers was described as creative, enjoyed dancing and music, intellectual, kind and generous and clearly this is someone who is going to be greatly missed.
“In my view, a large lady wearing a bright orange dress should have been clearly visible at dusk at this time of year, but I do not know how fast Mr Cabrita was driving his vehicle. It does seem from the evidence that he didn’t take any evasive action.”