Drunk driver kills runner during marathon in Costa Rica

By Daniel Uria  |  Oct. 23, 2017 at 6:04 PM
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Oct. 23 (UPI) -- A drunk driver struck and killed a Venezuelan man running in a marathon in Costa Rica, police said.

Police identified the victim as 35-year-old David Yanez Pacheco, who died Sunday shortly after arriving at Calderon Guardia Hospital after a 26-year-old man hit him with his car during the San Jose Half Marathon in Zapote.

Police said the driver, identified only by his last name, Blandon, struck Pacheco in front of the Zapote Church at 6:40 a.m. after bypassing a row of vehicles stopped by transit police to allow runners to cross an intersection.

Officers arrested Blandon for homicide after an on-site breathalyzer test determined he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Organizers for the marathon released a statement saying it had all the safety regulations and permits in order and insurance policies for the registered racers.

"We have all the security measures that are always taken, there is a protocol that we follow strictly. There are things that we can not control," the organizers said.

Precautions included 19 traffic police officials assigned to regulate traffic, 90 people along the route to guide the racers, four advanced medical support units and a security chief on hand every 3 miles.

Yanez was one of 1,300 competitors in the race.

"It is a sad day for all athletes, despite having all the security measures, an irresponsible driver marred the competition," Carmona said.

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