Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
The family of former Arsenal star Jose Antonio Reyes has announced they may seek legal action against ex-Real Madrid keeper Santiago Canizares after his statements following the footballer’s fatal accident.
Former Valencia goalkeeper Canizares, 49, came under heavy criticism after he said that Reyes “does not deserve a hero’s homage” because the former Arsenal ‘Invincible’ was reportedly driving at speeds of 147mph leading up to the fatal car accident.
However, local media said there is new evidence that the former Sevilla star, who died aged 35, was not driving as fast as was previously reported.
According to a statement made by forensic expert Miriam Moya on the Spanish TV show ‘Espejo Publico’ (‘Public Mirror’), “when considering the moment of braking and the resulting skid marks, I estimate the car was travelling at between 111 and 128kph (69 and 79mph)”.
After the new information surfaced, Canizares went on a Twitter rant defending his position.
The former Valencia shot-stopper said: “What I meant to say on Twitter that day was 1. I regret the tragedy. 2. I am disgusted by people who are happy over someone’s death. 3. Mourning is compatible with reflection and further safety on the motorway.
“I also said he did not deserve a tribute, obviously I was not referring to his football career. Since it was not clear, I explained myself in another tweet.
“Everything was cleared up, but the media already had their headlines in mind.”
According to reports, Reyes’ family has been angered by Canizares’ comments and after the latest reports on the footballer’s speed in the moments before his death they are considering legal action.
Local media said they are waiting for the police report that will state the official cause of the accident.
The late footballer’s brother Jesus Reyes told local media: “I am very upset with Canizares. As soon as we receive the final report from the Civil Guard, I plan on suing him.”
It is unclear when the Civil Guard will release the final report.
Reyes and his cousin Jonathan Reyes, 23, were killed in a crash on the A-376 motorway near the town of Alcala de Guadaira in southern Spain on 1st June.
His other cousin Juan Manuel Calderon, 22, suffered serious burns while trying to save the pair from the blazing vehicle.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that Reyes’ car hit a crash barrier and bounced off it, resulting in over 90 metres of skid marks on the road surface before it hit a fence which then “catapulted” the car.
Though initial reports claimed the accident was caused by excessive speeding, new reports claim it may have been an incident with the back-right tyre.
Jose Antonio Reyes was the first Spanish player to win the Premier League with Arsenal. He was also a La Liga champion with Real Madrid and a three-time Europa League winner with Sevilla.
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