The fiancée of a delivery cyclist killed in a hit-and-run in Dublin is appealing to the driver of the car to come forward.
Thiago Cortes, who was originally from Brazil, was knocked off his bike on the city's north quays on Monday evening – he died in hospital on Wednesday morning.
The car understood to be involved in the incident was later discovered a short distance away. It is understood that four people may have fled the scene. Gardaí believe the car was being driven by a teenager but enquires are continuing and no arrests have yet been made.
Mr Cortes's fiancée, Teresa Dantas, appealed directly to those involved to "be brave" and come forward with information as she did not want what happened to her fiancé to happen to anyone else in the future.
She said: "You were driving a car, you hit someone and you left him there to die. Just please say what you did. Come forward.
"If you know something, it wasn't you but you know something, or have any information please go to the gardaí. Please say something."
I tried to call him several times, but there was no answer. Then a guard answered his phone and said that he was in the hospital.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast and RTÉ radio's Today with Claire Byrne show, Ms Dantas told of how she found out he had been involved in an accident when a garda answered his phone.
She said that she knew something was wrong on Monday night when her fiancé had not returned home at his usual time of between 11pm and 11.30pm, and she thought he might still be delivering or that the battery in his phone had gone. At midnight she received a message saying that a Deliveroo driver had been involved in an accident.
“At that moment I felt it might be him. I tried to call him several times, but there was no answer. Then a guard answered his phone and said that he was in the hospital and he told me to go there,” she told the Today with Claire Byrne show.
Earlier on Newstalk Breakfast Ms Dantas said that Mr Cortes had been working for the delivery company for only 10 days. When she spoke with the garda she thought that perhaps he had a broken leg or a broken arm, “something not that bad.”
But when the garda told her “don't worry your fiancé is alive” she thought his injuries must be very serious.
He wanted to come here for a better life.... and we were getting that. We had a great life here.
“I went to the hospital, I was with my flatmate - one of Thiago's best, best friends - we got there, they let us in. The sergeant that answered the phone came to talk to me, saying that he was in an accident, it was a hit-and-run and that I'll be able to see him, that he was alive.
“We had over 24 hours to stay with him since the time that I found out about the accident and the time he died,” she said.
Her fiancé had persuaded her to come to Ireland two and a half years ago as he thought they would have a better opportunities in Ireland than in Brazil: "He wanted to come here for a better life.... and we were getting that. We had a great life here."
The couple had been together for six years when he proposed on her birthday in March. They had not yet set a date, but had been planning a civil service in Ireland at the end of the year with a church wedding and big party at a later stage, she explained.
Speaking on the Today with Claire Byrne show, Ms Dantas said it was "'amazing to see how much love there is around him" following the vigil held for Mr Cortes last night and the support from both Irish people and the Brazilian community.
The English Language Students’ Union of Ireland (ELSU) organised a candlelit vigil to remember Mr Cortes on Wednesday evening, with people wearing black or a Deliveroo uniform.
Mr Cortes had only been working for Deliveroo for ten days.
Crowds of Deliveroo workers gather at The Spire in Dublin in a vigil to Deliveroo delivery cyclist Thiago Cortes who died from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run incident in Dublin on Monday. pic.twitter.com/Pqxq0QfQX3
— Conor McCrave (@Conor_McCrave) September 2, 2020
A spokeswoman for Deliveroo told The Irish Times that the death of Mr Cortes was a “tragedy and a terrible loss”.
“Our deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers are with the family and friends of the rider. We will do everything we can to ensure that the family of the rider is supported during this extremely difficult time,” she said.
It is understood that Deliveroo is in touch with Mr Cortes’ family and that the company provides insurance which will provide support for the family of the rider.
Gardaí have renewed their appeal for witnesses, with anyone who was in the area between 10.15pm and 10.30pm that night being asked to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room at Store Street Garda station (01 6668000) or the Garda Confidential Line (1800 666 111).