North-East child in fatal quad bike crash

Darlington and Stockton Times: FATAL ACCIDENT: Middlesbrough father's son killed in quad bike accident in the Coimbra region of Portugal FATAL ACCIDENT: Middlesbrough father's son killed in quad bike accident in the Coimbra region of Portugal

A FATHER has spoken of his grief after his five-year-old son was killed in a bike accident in Portugal.

Bryan Lappin died in hospital after being thrown from a quad bike driven by a customer at his father’s bar with two other children including his seven-year-old brother James.

The third child, the six-year-old son of a Portuguese police officer, died before he reached hospital.

None of the children were wearing crash helmets.

The 49-year-old driver, a British expat builder who lives with his wife near the scene of the tragedy, is on bail after being arrested over the crash.

According to the Daily Star, the young brothers’ dad told how he had been serving the father-of-two drinks in his village bar before he offered to take the youngsters for a spin on his quad.

The vehicle crashed into a wall just a few hundred yards from the El Paso pub which Pete Lappin and his Madagascan-born wife Marie Chantal opened just over three years ago in the village of Viavai in the district of Coimbra.

Mr Lappin, originally from Middlesborough, said: “He must have been going fast or swerved.

“He’s taken them out on the quad before and the kids see it as a bit of a game but this time something went terribly wrong.”

The driver, named locally as Rob Mainprize, suffered only slight injuries and was arrested shortly after the incident around 6.30pm on Friday before appearing in court on Saturday where he was provisionally charged with negligent homicide.

Mr Lappin and his wife spent most of today by son James’ bedside at a hospital in Coimbra where he remained in intensive care with head injuries.

Medics have told the couple that they are hopeful their son will pull through.

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