Car plows through Copacabana sidewalk, kills baby, injures 15

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A speeding car plowed through evening strollers on a crowded sidewalk of Rio's famed Copacabana beach on Thursday in an apparent accident, killing an 8-month old baby and injuring 15 people, police said.

Injured pedestrians lay sprawled out on the sidewalk, recalling recent terrorist attacks by vehicles mowing down pedestrians, but there was no indication that the Copacabana incident was deliberate.

The G1 news website reported the driver, who fled the scene but was quickly arrested by police, said he had an epileptic fit, and medicine for epilepsy was found in the car.

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Car plowed through crowded sidewalk of Rio's famed Copacabana beach
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Car plowed through crowded sidewalk of Rio's famed Copacabana beach
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH OR INJURY. A vehicle that ran over some people at Copacabana beach is seen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil January 18, 2018. According local media, the driver was detained. REUTERS/Sebastian Rocandio TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A discarded pram is seen at the scene of a car crash at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018. At least 11 people were injured by a car that drove up onto Copacabana's tourist-packed seafront promenade in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Police are seen at the scene of a car crash at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018. At least 11 people were injured by a car that drove up onto Copacabana's tourist-packed seafront promenade in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
The scene of a car crash pictured at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018. At least 11 people were injured by a car that drove up onto Copacabana's tourist-packed seafront promenade in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured man carries his baby at the scene of a car crash at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018. At least 11 people were injured by a car that drove up onto Copacabana's tourist-packed seafront promenade in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Injured victims are assisted at the scene of a car crash at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018. At least 11 people were injured by a car that drove up onto Copacabana's tourist-packed seafront promenade in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured man is taken away by stretcher at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018. At least 11 people were injured by a car that drove up onto Copacabana's tourist-packed seafront promenade in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Injured victims are assisted at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018. At least 11 people were injured by a car that drove up onto Copacabana's tourist-packed seafront promenade in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
An injured man is assisted at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018. At least 11 people were injured by a car that drove up onto Copacabana's tourist-packed seafront promenade in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
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An officer at the Copacabana police station confirmed the baby's death by telephone and said 15 injured people were being treated in hospital. He did not know if the driver's epilepsy fit had been confirmed.

Witnesses said on the Globo News network that the racing car shot over a bicycle path and across the sidewalk, hitting people and crashing through tables and chairs, before coming to a stop on the sand of the beach. The smashed widescreen and dented roof indicated the force with which the vehicle had hit people.

The sidewalk of the Copacabana crescent-shaped beach is a favorite summer evening walk for Rio residents and tourists that have begun to arrive in Rio ahead of Carnival celebrations next month.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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