Train-death toddler’s mother “arrested” on suspicions of abandonment

Yesterday’s horror in Guarda – where a two-year-old boy was killed by a speeding train – has taken on new levels of tragedy.

The dead child’s 23-year-old mother, who had barely had time to leave hospital where she was being treated for shock, has now been arrested for the crime of exposition to abandonment.

Explains Jornal de Notícias, Ana Sofia Francisco should have been taking special care of her young son Rafael, given that the pair lived close to a railway line.

Apparently, locals and even relatives have told police that this was not the first time Rafael had managed to get out on his own.

In the past, he is alleged to have made journeys on his own early in the morning to the local café.

With his mother pregnant, fears are that her alleged negligence could continue with the next child.

Says JN, Rafael’s father is not part of the family unit, and the father of Ana Sofia Francisco’s unborn child is also absent.

The traumatised young woman may end up being charged, says JN. It is simply a matter now for the Public Ministry.

Meantime, further details have emerged of what exactly happened yesterday at the unprotected train-stop known as Sobral da Serra.

The driver of the intercity train from Guarda to Lisbon saw Rafael “in the middle of the tracks” as his train hurtled along at the speed of 150 km/ hour.

There was nothing to be done, says JN.

Slamming on the brakes would possibly have caused further injuries (to those on board) but could not have saved the child.

In fact, it took 15 minutes to find Rafael’s body, says the paper, as the force with which he was hit projected him 60 metres.

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