A six-year-old girl was killed when a speedboat race driver lost control and crashed onto a beach in the Philippines. Sciamira Ziah Banquil was playing in the sand as locals held a race at Paliton Beach on Siquijor Island on Sunday.
The winner of the race mowed down Sciamira and hit spectator Alixa Buhian, 24, who suffered a head injury.
Sciamira and Mr Buhian were taken to hospital, but the youngster was declared dead on arrival.
The girl’s father, Joe Pro Banquil, said: “The driver suddenly accelerated when he was approaching the shore.
“It happened so fast I couldn’t run to my daughter in time.”
Her cousin, Jerby Factularin, said: “The family is all heartbroken. Everyone loved Sciamira so much. Now we want justice for her.”
San Juan police have detained the boat driver, James Sumalpong.
Police Master Sergeant Carry Grencio said based on the force’s investigation, the driver struck the victims while they were on the shore after his engine malfunctioned.
The officer added: “They were rushed to the Siquijor Provincial Hospital, but the girl was declared dead on arrival. The organizers had a permit to hold the boat race.”
Boat race organizer Bancarera Philippines said in a statement: “Bancarera Philippines wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the families of the victims of the unfortunate accident during the race held at Paliton Beach, San Juan, Siquijor on May 21, 2023.
“We wholeheartedly join in your sorrows.
“We implore race organizers, team managers, crews and most especially riders, to learn from this tragic incident and revisit, review, and implement all safety protocols to prevent reoccurrence in the future and ensure everyone’s safety.”
Authorities in the Philippines said Sumalpong faces charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. He was remanded in custody at San Juan’s police station, according to MailOnline.