PLAYA BRASILITO – Seven-year-old Angelo Sequeira and his cousin were fishing happily on the near-deserted Playa Brasilito, in Guanacaste, last weekend until their peace was broken by the roar of a 650cc quadricycle hurtling toward them.
Diners at the nearby beachside restaurant, El Camarón Dorado, looked up and collectively shook their heads in dismay at yet another quad biker breaching the law that prohibits them from driving on the beach.
While Angelo’s cousin, Jaime, also 7, edged toward the surf to avoid the quad, Angelo made the mistake of staying put, only for the quad biker and his female pillion passenger to smash straight into him, leaving him motionless on the sand, before driving off.
Diners rushed out to rescue the boy, while others chased the quad, screaming at the driver to stop, but to no avail.
Fortunately Angelo, who was rushed to an area clinic, suffered only a slight concussion and a bloody nose and returned to the restaurant within an hour of the collision to give a statement to police.
Angelo’s uncle, Jorge Sequeira, said, “He was extremely lucky and could have been killed. I can’t believe that the guy didn’t stop to make sure he was OK. What a coward.
“Everyday about 20 or so of these bikes will go by, so it is no surprise that an accident has finally happened. They are not allowed on the beach and the law needs to be more severe so that they take notice. The worst culprits are the tour guides who lead these groups. Once they finish with a group, they drive back home or wherever and go really fast.”
Bikers found driving on the beach are usually issued a verbal warning and then fined for a repeated offense.
Angelo, who recovered with a plate of rice and tuna, said, “These people drive like drunks.”
The police, who carried out an immediate search of nearby quad rental companies, have been so far unable to find the hit-and run driver.
Officer Eddier Gómez of the Guanacaste Tourist Police Force, said, “We need more power to stop people driving these bikes on the beach; otherwise they will just continue to do it, only next time someone might die.”