A DRIVER alleged to have been under the influence of alcohol and drugs ploughed her Ford Mondeo head-first in to a group of six cyclists from the Llebeig de Javea Athletics Club on the N-332 on Sunday morning.
The 28-year-old Spanish woman from Oliva, who has not been named, killed two of the cyclists – Eduardo Monfort Gasent (28-years-old) and Luis Alberto Contreras (50-years old), both from Javea – instantly.
As of Monday, the three others – Andres Contreras (son of Luis Alberto Contreras), Scott Gordon and Jose Antonio Albi – remained in hospital fighting for their lives.
The accident occurred at kilometre 206 of the N-332 between Oliva and Denia.
The Centre for Emergency Coordination of the Generalitat Valenciana sent medicalised helicopter Alfa 9 to the area. It is believed one of the cyclists had to be revived at the scene before being airlifted to hospital after going into cardiac arrest.
The remaining cyclists were taken by ambulance to local hospitals – La Fe Hospital in Valencia, La Ribera de Alzira (Valencia) and Hospital de Denia – MarinaSalud.
After the accident, ambulances blocked off the N-332, establishing an alternative route from Ondara to Oliva.
The driver was arrested at the scene by the Guardia Civil of Gandia and faces two counts of involuntary manslaughter, along with three of injury. After being released from hospital she was taken to the barracks of the Guardia Civil of Gandia and remains in custody.
In a statement to the press, Former Llebeig de Javea Athletics Club President Julio Almazan said that the driver was on the wrong side of the road when she ploughed into the cyclists.
He said: ‘We’re all still in a state of shock. I’ve been told the driver hit the members of our club head-on after invading their carriageway and tested positive for cocaine as well as failing a drink-drive test.’
‘It happened around 8.30am so it’s possible she fell asleep at the wheel as she was heading home after a night out partying.’
The only cyclist who escaped serious injury is Jaime Escortell, the current club President.
Mr Escortell said in a statement to the press: ‘we didn’t have time to say anything, we saw the car coming across the road diagonally and it swept us away. The car was going very fast, it didn’t brake at all.’
Mayor of Javea Jose Chulvi called an extraordinary plenary session of the Town Council on Sunday to decree three days of official mourning and the suspension of all fiestas and sporting events planned during that period.
In a statement on social media he said: ‘On behalf of the municipal corporation, we wish to offer our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and our support in everything they need, although we know well that it is difficult to offer consolation in these moments of pain.’
‘This terrible tragedy affects well-known residents and families of Javea. It affects the sports family of our town and it affects us all as neighbours and in many cases friends, companions or acquaintances of the victims.’
He added: ‘my deepest condolences go out to the relatives, friends and companions of Eduardo and Luis Alberto. R.I.P. And a message of strength and hope for Jose Antonio, Andres and Scott to recover as soon as possible.’
In another statement on social media, The Llebeig de Javea Athletics Club said ‘we hope the full force of the law falls on the driver that caused this accident and tragedy.’
Juan Carlos Moragues, the central government’s representative in the Valencia region, issued a statement demanding greater awareness of the problem of drunk driving: ‘We have to be conscious that somebody behind the wheel who is under the influence of alcohol and drugs is a deadly weapon.’