Protest over treatment of crash victims

MEMBERS of Suffolk's Portuguese community were due to protest outside their country's consulate today about an alleged lack of support offered to a man's family after he and his daughter died in a car crash.

MEMBERS of Suffolk's Portuguese community were due to protest outside their country's consulate today about an alleged lack of support offered to a man's family after he and his daughter died in a car crash.

Jose Gomes Costa, 30, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, and eight-year-old Erica Martins Andrade were killed in a collision on the A14 at Coddenham at the end of February.

Their deaths devastated members of the Portuguese community who will today travel to London to protest because they do not feel Mr Costa's surviving family members - his wife and 18-month-old daughter Alicia - have received enough support from the authorities.

Manuela Cardoso, who will be taking part in the demonstration, said it would show the community's “unhappiness with the lack of moral, emotional and financial support to the widow and remaining daughter”. They would also demand Mr Costa's family be treated with the respect they deserved and offered assistance as stated in the consulate statute.


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“There was no contact made with the family even though a request was formally made by the police and a letter was sent to the consulate from a relative,” Mr Cardoso said. “We hope this tragedy will highlight the need for a closer and clear communication between the Portuguese community and the consulate.”

Mr Costa and Erica were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident while the other occupants of the car - his wife and daughter and two male friends - were taken to hospital.

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Mr Cardoso said Mr Costa's wife and his remaining daughter were now planning to return to Portugal.

“Alicia is only 18 months old and after the trauma of losing her dad and older sister, with whom she had a very close relationship, she has been left with a mother who is currently still traumatised from the accident and unable to financially provide for them,” he said.

“Both mother and daughter will need help to return to Portugal, to restart their lives and pay privately for the bodies of their loved ones to be transported back. Any help would be appreciated from the public.”

The Portuguese Consulate was unavailable for comment.

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