Crash family - wrong place, wrong time

THEY were in the wrong place at the wrong time. In a tragic twist of fate, it has emerged today that a Portugese family involved in a fatal crash on the A14 had arrived a day later than planned because their flight, taking them to their new life in Suffolk, had been delayed.

THEY were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In a tragic twist of fate, it has emerged today that a Portugese family involved in a fatal crash on the A14 had arrived a day later than planned because their flight, taking them to their new life in Suffolk, had been delayed.

Jose Gomes Costa, 30 and his eight-year-old daughter Erica Martins Andrade died in the early hours of Monday morning after they were thrown from the Peugeot car they were travelling in. Only one of the six passengers was thought to be wearing a seatbelt.

Mr Costa had just collected his wife and two daughters from Luton Airport when the crash happened. But it has been revealed that they should have arrived on the Saturday rather than the Sunday.


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Today a friend of Mr Costa, who lived in Wherstead Road, Ipswich, paid tribute to the happy, family-loving man.

Jorge Ribeiro, the coach of the Ipswich Wolves Futsal Club of which Mr Costa was a member, spoke of his shock at the tragedy.

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He said: “Jose was my friend. I had known him for two years, ever since he first came to England.

“He was a very happy person and a good man.

“He loved to work and train and play. The Sunday before last we played against the national champions in London and Jose scored twice.

“Sometimes all the players would go out and have dinner and Jose would come along.

“But he was not the sort of person who would see everyone in the coffee shops and pubs. He was very quiet.”

Mr Costa, known to his friends as 'Canhoto' which translates as 'left foot', was on his way back to his home when the accident happened.

Mr Ribeiro said Mr Costa, a factory worker, had been excited about his family's arrival in England.

He said: “He told us his family were coming here. Then Jose called me to ask if it was ok for him to miss Sunday's game because he had to pick up his family who were coming here to live. I said 'of course, go and get your family'.

“He was so excited about his family's arrival. He had bought many presents for his daughters. It's tragic.

“The Portuguese people in Ipswich are very upset. The community is in shock.”

The other three adult passengers in the car have all been released from hospital.

Mr Costa's 18-month-old baby remains in Addenbrooke's Hospital. The tot suffered a fractured skull but is said to be in a stable condition.

A police spokesman said the family is planning to take the bodies of Mr Costa and his daughter back to Portugal for burial.

Would you like to pay tribute to Jose Gomes Costa? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

CRASH PANEL

THE A14 at Coddenham was closed for nine and a half hours on Monday following the collision which killed Mr Costa and his daughter.

It is believed that a Ford Escort hit a deer at around 1.30am and that the following Peugeot either hit the dead deer or had swerved to avoid it.

Five of the six people in the Peugeot were thrown from the car. Dolls and luggage were also strewn across the carriageway.

As revealed in yesterday's Evening Star, police could only confirm that one person, the driver of the car, was wearing a seatbelt.

Chief Inspector Martin Barnes Smith said that had the eight-year-old girl and her father been properly strapped in they would not have suffered the injuries which killed them.

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