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Hippodrome troupe's matriarch dies

PUBLISHED: 09:46 09 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:59 30 June 2010

The matriarch of a Brazilian acrobat troupe which has entertained large crowds at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus in the last year has died in a horrific crash on the A11.

The matriarch of a Brazilian acrobat troupe which has entertained large crowds at Great Yarmouth's Hippodrome Circus in the last year has died in a 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.

They dressed up as Brazilian footballers and flew through the air on a giant swing and acrobatically landed on each other shoulders in front of 800 people at a time.

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 who he had last seen on Saturday as she was getting ready to travel to Palermo for a show.

Mr Jay said: “It is a horrible tragedy. Rita was a lovely lady and the rock of the whole family.

“I have spoken to them and they are all just absolutely devastated.

“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 Brazilian 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.

As well as the three members who were hospitalised, another three were suffered minor injuries.

The driver of the van was uninjured.

In August the EDP reported how the Romeiro Troupe had been about to perform their gravity defying triple somersault act when their performance was cancelled because of a power cut.


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