The driver in a viral video that shows a car apparently running over a woman who lay on the road following an epileptic seizure said yesterday, he saw no sign that anyone was in the path of his vehicle.
While public outrage over the incident has been swift, the driver insisted people were only focusing on half of the story.
The 47-year-old from San Juan asked not to be identified, saying that since the incident he has been receiving death threats.
He told Guardian Media that said he simply did not see Simone Ferreira lying on the roadway.
The driver said: “They keep saying I run over the woman’s head and the woman’s hand. That is not so. The only thing I could tell you I run over is her bag. When I swing the corner all I could see is something like it’s garbage because the garbage truck wasn’t far behind me, so all I felt was like I touching something like garbage with my wheel. The sun does also hit you straight in your eye at that time and the front of my car was higher than the back coming over that incline.”
He added that Ferreira was also fortunate that on that day his vehicle was not working properly and therefore he had to drive slowly.
He insisted he would have felt if he ran over someone.
“I am a driver for almost 30 years and I consider myself a damn good driver and I must feel if I roll over someone, and if I roll over her head, she would have been dead. If I rolled over her hand it would have been broken,” he added.
He said after he felt something by one of the wheels, he manoeuvred around it and drove off. But it was then he felt something touch the bumper of his vehicle. He said when he came out to inspect, a woman told him about Ferreira’s condition.
“I was the first person to pick her up from the ground and another guy held her other shoulder and we put her on a step to sit down. She was in a daze the only thing she told me is where she (was) living and that she was going to work. I then asked someone to call an ambulance but they said the ambulance was one hour away, I told them the safest idea was to take her to the health center, the guy who helped lift her up decided to take her and she walked to the car and they took her to the hospital.”
The driver said at the time all Ferreira had was a bruise on her face and elbow.
He said since then he has been receiving death threats with people threatening to shoot him and burn his vehicle. He said instead of threatening him, those people should accompany Ferreira when she walks to work because of her condition.
He said due to the threats he won’t be checking in on her and he will leave it up to the police to do their work.
The driver said he already gave the police a statement and they conducted a site visit.
The driver is now asking the public to watch all five videos of the incident and to not be judge and jury based on only two videos.
Reporter: Akash Samaroo