A woman drunk-driver has killed another motorist after driving on the wrong side of the motorway for over 4 km on the A1 in Leiria.
Thirty-nine-year old Veronique Sousa was described by her father Carlos as a “boa cachopa” (good girl) who gets “grumpy” when she’s had a “tipple”.
But as national tabloid Correio da Manhã explains, Sousa had not simply had a tipple.
Her blood alcohol count was well into the realms that constitute crime at 1.6 gm/litre, and the result was that 42-year-old salesman Paulo Almeida from Costa da Caparica was killed after colliding head-on with Sousa’s Fiat 500 as it came directly towards him in the wrong direction of the motorway on Tuesday night.
Sousa, resident in France, has since appeared in court and been stripped of her driving licence.
She is now free on the condition that she posts a bail surety of €7,500 within the next 10 days.
CM explains the condition stems from the fact that Sousa “could present a flight risk” as she lives abroad and holds French nationality.
During the court hearing, Sousa is understood to have remained silent, only approaching the judge at the end, to extend her apologies to the relatives of her victim.
Sousa is faced with charges of negligent homicide and drunk driving.
As the GNR define their investigation, CM reports that this is the 36th death in the last four years resulting from drivers losing their sense of direction.
According to data supplied by the road safety authority, a further 78 people have been seriously injured in these kinds of accidents, with 468 slightly injured.
“Just in this year, since January 1, a source from the GNR has told CM of 29 accidents caused by drivers driving in the wrong direction.
“Faro is the district where most of these mistakes have taken place, with five accidents” since January this year, says the paper.
Warning: If you find you are driving in the wrong direction, “stop and call police”
With this latest road horror clearly worrying police over the effectiveness of the country’s signage, the GNR has issued a warning to any road users who inadvertently find themselves driving in the wrong direction on a road or highway:
“Stop immediately, pull over to the side, and alert the authorities to help you return to your intended direction”
Anyone who sees a driver going the wrong way is equally urged to telephone police, on 112.