Excessive speed, bald tyres and ‘a hurry to get through the schedule’ of Portugal’s prime minister António Costa are being cited in a dramatic accident involving a BMW carrying ‘elite PSP police’ on the A1 motorway near Aveiras last week.
One agent is still in hospital, described as in a serious condition, while the other escaped relatively unharmed and is now facing a disciplinary process, reports tabloid Correio da Manhã.
The “violent” accident began with a skid and ended with the car turning turtle, says the paper, adding that the Series 3 BMW had over 200,000 kms on the clock.
Police sources have described “a sheet of water” on the road surface which “coupled with the state of the tyres sent the car aquaplaning”.
According to the paper, the agents inside were part of a special squad sent ahead of government visits to check on “conditions of safety”.
This particular trip took place hours before prime minister Costa was due on a working visit to Vila Nova de Gaia.
The accident has exacerbated what CM dubs “a wave of protest” among the elite force (Corpo de Segurança Pessoal) “over the lack of maintenance of service vehicles and the absence of tyre changes for these vehicles”.
CM adds that “according to police sources” the most recent cars delivered to the force have been “diverted” for use by the Ministry of Internal Administration.
The paper stressed however that it had not been able to get “any kind of response” from the PSP’s department of public relations.