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Queen’s Park businessman injured in speedboat accident wins Porsche Cayenne

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 October 2013

William Hindmarch, chief executive of Best of the Best, Renata Weich holding Nicholas, 2, winner Robbie Weich and (front) Luca, 6.

William Hindmarch, chief executive of Best of the Best, Renata Weich holding Nicholas, 2, winner Robbie Weich and (front) Luca, 6.

Archant

A father who suffered second degree burns in a “traumatic” speedboat accident which also left his six-year-old son badly injured has spoken of his amazing “luck”.

Robbie Weich in hospital in Brazil.Robbie Weich in hospital in Brazil.

Robbie Weich and his family survived the horrifying accident in which the boat he, son Luca and his wife Renata were travelling on exploded in flames in Brazil in July.

Now he has won a Porsche Cayenne – his dream family car – in a competition.

It has led the 39-year-old to look upon the events of the past few months in a different light.

Mr Weich, who works at his family business Tradelink Wood Products Ltd in Queen’s Park, said: “I think, at the end of the day, I was incredibly lucky in both cases.”

Mr Weich and his family had been planning to enjoy a river trip when the blast threw his wife and two friends from the back of the boat while he remained on the now burning craft with his cousin.

He said: “We realised we were literally on fire.”

They jumped into the water to put out the flames – but the skin on his forearms was hanging off, and his face and legs were also badly burnt. When he turned his attention back to the vessel, he realised his young son was still on board with a friend, who was holding onto him.

Luca was rescued quickly – but he was also burnt on his forearms.

Once back on land, they were all rushed to the state hospital in Belem, where there weren’t enough beds for all of them in the burns unit so Mr Weich ended up in a general ward, lying next to people who had been “shot and stabbed”.

Matters were further complicated by an infection Mr Weich and his cousin both picked up from the water.

Mr Weich remains thankful his wife was not badly hurt in the accident, which meant she could stay with Luca for the week it took for him to recover.

“His burns really healed so well - he has had no scarring,” said Mr Weich, who did not fare as well.

He had to be airlifted back to London for further treatment in the unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, but has since made a good recovery.

“We are all home now and recovering well with no lasting damage or permanent scarring.”

Indeed, Mr Weich was well enough to return to work which is where Best of the Best boss William Hindmarch arrived just last week to surprise him with his brand new 4x4.

Mr Hindmarch’s company gives away a dream car every two weeks, running competitions in airports and shopping centres around the country - as well as online. Mr Weich had been entering since 2010, but hadn’t thought he would actually win.

“You think you would run up and down about it, but when it happened to me I was basically in shock,” he said.

Mr Weich has decided to keep the car, rather than sell it - despite Luca’s disappointment at it not being a Ferrari.

“I think after the accident you start to think, I could have died. Life is too short - I am going to enjoy this car now with family and friends.”


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