Pictured: Distraught father brawls with off-duty cop who killed his seven-year-old daughter after hitting the British girl with speedboat propeller off Albanian beach
- Jonada Avdia, seven, killed while swimming in sea near Potam Beach, Albania
- British-born girl was playing in the sea when speedboat drove through area designated only for swimmers to drop people off on the beach
- Father Bledar watched his daughter die before brawling with speedboat driver
- Off-duty cop Arjan Tase has been charged with manslaughter, due in court today
This is the moment a distraught father who had just watched his daughter killed by a speedboat propeller brawled with the man now accused over her death.
British-born Jonada Avdia, seven, had been holidaying with father Bledar and her mother on Potam beach, in their native Albania, when she was hit and killed by the boat around 2pm Tuesday.
Horrified onlookers captured the moment off-duty cop Arjan Tase, who is now facing a manslaughter charge over Jonada’s death, came back to shore – and was confronted by Bledar.
Pictures show Tase – wearing pink swimming shorts – locking armed with Bledar – in black – as people rush to separate them.
Images of the brawl were posted online by Albania’s former prime minister Sali Berisha in the wake of the tragedy.
Bledar Avdia (left), the father of a seven-year-old girl killed in the sea in Albania, is pictured brawling with Arjan Tase (right), the off-duty cop accused of hitting her with a speedboat. The image was posted online by the country’s former Prime Minister
Jonada (left) was playing 15ft from shore when Tase (right) allegedly hit her with a speedboat while pulling ‘dangerous manoeuvres’
Recounting the horror day to local media, Bledar said: ‘I was bathing together with my daughter near the shore, I saw a white boat with two people on board.
‘The boat parked on the beach near a hotel and I saw a girl get off from there.’
He recalled how a woman and children got into the boat, which then set off again through an area roped off for swimmers, heading towards him and his daughter.
‘It came in our direction and came at hellish speed and separated me and the girl.
‘I dived down under the water and the craft hit my daughter with the engine part, cutting her all over.
‘I saw that the vehicle left, but then the boatman came back, stopping the boat and coming to the shore.’
Bislim Ahmetajm, a teacher who was on the beach that day, recalled on Facebook how Bledar came up to him afterwards and said: ‘I should have died instead of her.’
Tase was arrested a short time later, and is due in court in the city of Vlora today.
Investigators say he was taking members of his own family from Porto Palermo to Potam – a distance of around five miles – when the crash happened.
A man – believed to be Tase – is seen behind the wheel of the speedboat at the beach after being accused of hitting the young girl
The boat in question is shown tied up to the shoreline, as police impound it as evidence for an investigation that is now underway
British-born Jonada Avdia, seven, had been holidaying with father Bledar and her mother on Potam beach, in their native Albania, when she was hit and killed by the boat around 2pm Tuesday
They say he drove through an area meant only for swimmers, that was clearly marked with buoys, and up on to the beach.
After dropping off his relatives he put the boat back into the water in the same area, and pulled some ‘dangerous manoeuvres’.
It was then that he hit Jonada as she played around 15ft off shore.
The boat’s spinning propeller blades ’caused serious injuries that led to immediate loss of life’, a police spokesman said.
Tase is now being investigated for ‘negligent homicide’ while 15 police officers who were supposed to be guarding the water that day have been sacked.
Tase, reportedly a police chief from the city of Elbasan, is due to appear in court in Vlora today.
Hundreds of candles and flowers have been placed where Jonada lost her life, as well as in front of the Prime Minister’s office.
Protests have also broken out across the country in fury at the death, with dozens of marchers clashing with police in the capital of Tirana yesterday.
Tase is said to have used this boat to drop his relatives off at the beach before driving back out to sea and pulling ‘dangerous manoeuvres’ which killed Jonada
15 police officers who should have been guarding the ocean that day (pictured) have since been sacked, while protests have broken out around the country.
They are called for the resignation of the interior minister, the head of police, and the tourism minister – accusing the state of killing Jonada, local media says.
It is the third such accident to happen on the beaches of Albania this summer.
A couple were injured by a speedboat on Jale beach, also in southern Albania, last month – while a second seven-year-old child was hurt in a crash just two days later.
Mirela Kumbaro, the tourism minister, has laid blame for the crash at the feet of Tase and the national chief of police.
She told Albanian Daily News: ‘An angel is no longer among us because of the stupidity of a man who broke every law, every rule and every norm with tragically irreversible consequences.
‘With awareness that there are no words to serve as a consolation for the parents, the family for the tragedy they suffered, the request goes to justice to do its job, without compromise, with maximum punishment for anyone who breaks the law.
‘The request goes to the state police as well, to each of its employees in the territory, to be at the level of vigilance and punishment that the uniform imposes on them.’