“Extreme tiredness” has been suggested as the reason for the tragic accident last weekend that took the life of a GNR agent after his motorbike collided with a light vehicle carrying two people (click here).
Sergeant João Fernandes, a married man and father of two young children, had been working 14 hours straight on the day of the accident.
The day before, he had worked a midnight to 8am shift before resuming duties four hours later.
A source for his grieving family has told Correio da Manhã that the 45-year-old was “very tired”.
He died in the process of overtaking a vehicle. A van carrying Spanish sports journalist Lucio Lopez was travelling in the opposite direction. Impact appears to have been head-on.
The van then burst into flames from which British reporter (Simon Patterson) rescued Mr Lopez, who by this time had suffered ‘serious injuries’.
Mr Lopez was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Lisbon, while Simon Patterson was reportedly treated locally for smoke inhalation.
The UK’s Daily Star picked up on the story, calling Mr Patterson a “hero” for saving the life of another reporter in “a blazing inferno outside the MotoGP race at Portimão circuit…”
President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa wasted no time in lamenting the premature death of agent Fernandes, as did minister for Interior Administration Eduardo Cabrita.
A minute’s silence was held in the agent’s memory on Sunday morning at MotoGP.