Medal-winning swimmer Sarah Corrêa killed in hit and run accident in Rio



Note from BW of Brazil:Very sad news here. It’s always tragic when a promising life is taken in such a violent fashion. Below are the details of a horrible accident in Rio that claimed the life of the medal-winning swimmer Sarah Corrêa. May justice prevail when all of the facts are discovered. 

Brazilian swimmer, a medalist of the Pan American Games, confirmed brain death

Sarah Corrêa was hit by a car in Barra last Friday

Courtesy of O Dia

Medal winner swimmer Sarah Corrêa killed in hit and run accident
Medal winner swimmer Sarah Corrêa killed in hit and run accident

Saturday, the Civil Police heard the driver who ran over and killed swimmer Sarah Corrêa, 22, late on Friday, at a bus stop on Bandeirantes Highway, in Jacarepaguá, close to her home. The former athlete was confirmed brain dead this afternoon.

Besides her, Paulo Soares, 58, also hit by the car, died at the scene. According to the Civil Police, which did not release the driver’s name, he said he didn’t provide assistance because he was injured. The family, however, says he ran away from the scene.

Sarah showing off one her medals
Sarah showing off one her medals

Sarah Corrêa was a silver medalist in the 4x200m free relay of the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. A year earlier, in the South American Games in Medellín, Colômbia, she won gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay, beating the record in the competition. The athlete also passed through clubs like Flamengo, Unisanta, Minas Tênis Clube and Fluminense, that ceded its headquarters for her wake. The burial time was not yet confirmed.

“It was a brutal murder,” huffed the merchant Bismark Corrêa, 48, Sarah’s father, still at the Miguel Couto Hospital, where her daughter was tended to and died. “I hope justice is done, because he didn’t even help her. Sarah was out of the ordinary as a human being, child and athlete. She was complete.”

Sarah's mother Maria Fátima Alves Gonçalves
Sarah’s mother Maria Fátima Alves Gonçalves

Even before the Secretaria Municipal de Saúde (City Health Department) confirmed the death of the young woman, her mother Maria Fátima Alves Gonçalves, expressed herself on Facebook: “My daughter was murdered by another drunken crazy man in the traffic of this city. I want justice and I will not rest.”

Sarah Corrêa had traded her athletic career to be a model.
Sarah Corrêa had traded her athletic career to be a model.

To O Dia, Sarah’s father said witnesses said the driver was swerving and at high speed. “He was swerving, but there’s no way to tell if he was under alcohol. It’s the police who will tell.”

In a statement, the Civil Police said the 42nd DP (precinct) initiated an investigation into the hit and run. Images of neighborhood security cameras have been requested. “The driver was heard and said that after the accident he went to the hospital and then attended the police station.” The researchers requested the medical care report of the driver. Also according to police, witnesses are being heard.

Asked about having released the driver even after two deaths, police said that the police chief decided to release him to respond in freedom.

Sarah Corrêa competing in a swimming competition
Sarah Corrêa competing in a swimming competition

The former swimmer participated in the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011. In the competition, she won a silver medal in the free 4x200m relays. However, despite the success in the waters, Sarah decided to shine on the runways and spotlights, and in October of last year, she announced her departure from the sport to pursue a modeling career.

Follow-up report

Mother places flowers on Sarah's casket
Mother places flowers on Sarah’s casket

Ex-swimmer is buried in the Zona Portuária of Rio

Former athlete was hit on Friday (1st) in Vargem Pequeno, in the West Zone. An inquiry was established to investigate the circumstances of the accident.

By Matheus Rodrigues

Dozens of friends and relatives bid farewell to the ex-swimmer
Dozens of friends and relatives bid farewell to the ex-swimmer

Sarah’s body was mourned and buried in Cemitério do Caju, in Zona Portuária of Rio on Monday (4). The 22 year old was hit close to home, in Vargem Pequena, in the West Zone, on Friday (1st). Besides her, Paul Person, 58, was also hit by the vehicle and died.

Sarah’s father and mother, visibly shaken, in front of her coffin (Photo: Matheus Rodrigues)
Sarah’s father and mother, visibly shaken, in front of her coffin (Photo: Matheus Rodrigues)

To bid farewell, Maria de Fátima Gonçalves made a question of dressing the girl in her Brazilian Swimming Team uniform. Shortly after 2pm, relatives carried the coffin to be buried in Cemitério do Caju.

Witnesses told the family that the driver was drunk and speeding.

Sarah Corrêa won a silver medal in the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico
Sarah Corrêa won a silver medal in the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico

“I’ll be a warrior for justice for her. I said and I repeat. My daughter sat with me at the breakfast table and said, ‘Mom, I didn’t come into the world to be just anyone’. She is making a difference now. She wants me to fight for all the mothers who are heartbroken and lost their children in a brutal manner,” said a very emotional Maria de Fátima, next to the casket.

She regretted not having been able to donate the organs of her daughter. “It was my desire, but it was not the righteousness of God.”

The father of the former swimmer, Benedito Bismark Corrêa, was also very emotional in receiving relatives and friends. A representative of the Fluminense team delivered a flag to the mother, who was placed it on the body.

According to relatives, the Sarah was going to a party Friday to meet friends from work and wanted to return to competition next year.

Camera records the accident

The trampling was recorded by a security camera installed in one of the houses on Bandeirantes highway, at the height of Vargem Pequeno. The driver moved to the left towards the bus stop and ran over two people.

A man who lives in a house opposite to the point said he was startled when he heard the noise of the car knocking down his wall. “I was in the room. When I heard the noise, I came to see, then I only saw the dust and only after the dust came down I saw it was a car,” he said.

Besides Sarah, a man identified as Paulo Soares died instantly from the accident. The young woman was even taken to Hospital Miguel Couto in Leblon, where she was diagnosed brain dead.

A resident who declined to be identified said the man who caused the accident is accustomed to driving at high speeds and that on the day of the accident he had signs of intoxication.

“The driver was visibly intoxicated and we were worried about him. We took him and asked if there were victims, he claimed that there had not been. We looked for victims and didn’t find any, but we were calm. Fifteen minutes after the arrival of firefighters, the firefighters, with their experience, they lifted and found the two people under the car. He [the driver] was accustomed to running, driving dangerously. It’s not the first time,” he said.

Source: G1, O Dia

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. This is really heartbreaking to hear. I feel for her family. A beautiful woman. May she rest in peace. 🙁

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.