Circus troupe leader killed in A11 crash
Stephen PullingerThe matriarch of a Brazalian acrobat troupe which has entertained large crowds at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus in the last year has died in an horrific crash on the A11.Stephen Pullinger
The matriarch of a Brazalian acrobat troupe which has entertained large crowds at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus in the last year has died in an horrific crash on the A11.
Rita Decassia Medeiros E Silva had been travelling with the Romeiro Troupe, which includes her husband and children, in a towed caravan from Yarmouth to Italy on Sunday morning when the fatal smash happened in Cambridgeshire.
As well as killing the 50-year-old, three members of the troupe were badly hurt in the crash and were still in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridgeshire, last night.
The troupe, a daredevil springboard act known across the globe, appeared at the Hippodrome's Summer and Winter Spectacular shows which ran from July to September and December to January.
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After the winter show finished the Romeiro Troupe had been staying in a caravan by Yarmouth railway station.
Yesterday the owner of the Hippodrome, Peter Jay, paid an emotional tribute to the female head of the troupe whom he had last seen on Saturday as she was getting ready to travel to Palermo for a show.
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Mr Jay said: 'It is a horrible tragedy. Rita was a lovely lady and the rock of the whole family. But circus people are tough people and I am sure that once they are all out of hospital the show will go on.'
There were 10 members of the Brazalian troupe, including a two year-old girl, in the caravan which was stationary by the side of the A11 when it was involved in a collision with a Ford Transit van by Fourwentways at 6.35am.
It was thought that the caravan had pulled over because of a blown tyre.