Extremadura region ordered to pay up for man who drowned

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EXTREMADURA Regional Government has been sentenced to pay €271,233 in damages to the family of a Senegalese man who drowned in a reservoir in 2010.

Mohamadou Dassi Gueye, 35, and David Diatta were lost at night in the countryside and relying on their GPS, which told them to continue straight on along the EX323 road.

Just one small no-entry sign to the right of the road, which the men failed to see, warned of the dangers ahead. The valley the old road entered had been flooded to create La Serena reservoir years before.

The men managed to get their seatbelts off and their doors open, but Dassi couldn’t swim and Diatta was unable to keep hold of him. After reaching the shore he managed to get to Capilla, a village with 200 inhabitants two kilometres from the lake.

Villagers drove to the scene of the accident and reported the back of the car was still visible but there was no sign of 35-year-old Dassi, who was found by Red Cross divers the following day on the bottom of the lake next to the car.

Now Extremadura’s high court, which in March awarded the survivor €2,000 in damages, has rejected the regional government’s arguments that the road did not belong to the government and that the death was not caused by the accident and sentenced it to pay the deceased’s family.

The verdict stated clearly that the road was not correctly signed and that there was no evidence that Dassi’s driving was to blame. It also referred to the post-mortem examination, which determined that there were no signs of a cause of death other than drowning.

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