Fighting tears at a vigil Friday evening, teammates remembered a police investigator from Brazil who was killed in a bicycle collision at the World Police and Fire Games Thursday.
Thousands of miles from his home in Brazil, 48-year-old Carlos Silva, a member of the Civil Police of the Federal District of Brazil, died about 5 p.m. Thursday.
Organizers crafted a service of solemn dignity and honor for Silva Friday. Teammates and others were brought to tears as a recording of Brazil's national anthem played. Chaplains from the Fairfax County fire and police departments offered words of comfort.
"He loved what he do. He loved to be here. He loved to train. And most of all he loved his career and his daughter," Investigator Alexander Manzan said at a press conference Thursday night. Manzan traveled to the Games from Brazil with Silva.
Silva's body was transported from Inova Fairfax Hospital about 10 p.m. by an honor guard by the Fairfax County Police Department. He is survived by his 13-year-old daughter.
Two other riders were in critical condition after the devastating crash -- a 43-year-old man and a 44-year-old man, police said.
"Investigator Silva and our two other officers are our everyday heroes," Fairfax County Police Chief Lt. Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said, with a black ribbon pinned to his uniform.
A rider in a cycling time trial blew a front tire on a downhill portion of the course in Prince William Forest Park about 12:30 p.m., police said. The rider lost control of the bike on Scenic Drive near Turkey Run Road and crashed, causing a chain reaction, police said. The cyclists were wearing the proper safety gear, police said.
Members of the Prince William and Fairfax fire departments immediately helped the victims, along with two off-duty Fairfax County police officers.
"We are deeply saddened that an athlete participating in the World Police and Fire Games passed away today at the cycling event in Prince William County," Michael Graham, prseident of the World Police and Fire Games Federation and others said in a joint statement. "Two other athletes are severely injured. Please join us as we keep these athletes, their families and friends in our thoughts and prayers during this tragic and challenging time."
The cycling road race event was scheduled to last from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Events for the remainder of Thursday were canceled.
The World Police and Fire Games have brought 12,000 first responders from 70 countries to events in the capital area. The 10-day event began June 26 and is scheduled to end with a closing ceremony July 5.
The accident comes a day after the Wall Street Journal released an in-depth and telling story on the dangers of downhill cycling.
Carlos Silva's Biography:
Carlos Eugenio Reino da Silva, “Geno”, was born on April 10th, 1967, in Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil. He received a degree in Geography and Law. In 1990, Geno entered the Civil Police Service of the Federal District, and was a Supervisor of Special Operations of the Civil Police. Geno is survived by his 13 year old daughter, Leticia Bittes Reino, whom he loved very much. His love extended to his relatives who still live in Brazil. Leticia and Geno were best friends and enjoyed traveling together. People who knew him would describe him as young at heart, amazing person, and a wonderful human being. He was always happy and had a very contagious smile, which could be the origin of his other nickname “DENTINHO”, which means “small teeth”. Geno was an athlete and always enjoyed an adventure. Some of the adventures led Geno to competing in the Ironman and Xterra competitions. Geno was not only devoted to his friends and family, but also to his religion. His favorite saint, Saint Rita De Cascia, was known to be a patroness for abused wives and heartbroken women. This suited the profession he chose to help the people of the community. We have all been touched in some way by this loss. Whether we have lost a brother in uniform, a father, or a friend; in speaking with the people close to him it is clear that this world has lost a great person. Geno has left this world far too soon but he is now with his parents in heaven, watching over all.