A young French woman died Sunday in Buenos Aires while undergoing surgery for serious injuries she suffered the previous day after being hit by a taxi whose driver suffered a stroke and a heart attack, medical sources reported.
Two other French women were injured in the accident, which happened midday on Saturday in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Palermo, at the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Armenia Street. The three victims were all admitted to the Fernández Public Hospital.
The young woman, identified as 25-year-old Lwana Bichet, was enrolled in a student exchange programme with her two friends through the private University of San Andrés. She had been in Buenos Aires for about three months, according to a source from the Buenos Aires City government.
“We are very sorry for the death of this young woman despite the efforts made to get her out of the situation, both by our team and those of the Fernández hospital. The issue is that her injuries was extremely serious,” Alberto Crescenti, the director of the Emergency Medical Care System (SAME) of Buenos Aires, told the A24 news channel.
Bichet had suffered a skull fracture with internal bleeding, as well as injuries to one of her shoulders. She underwent surgery at an operating room at the Fernandez Hospital, but died of cardiorespiratory arrest as she was unable to survive the procedure.
One of the injured suffered a pelvic fracture and is "in intensive care as she requires permanent monitoring,” while the other “is less complicated, is stable and has a small pneumothorax that does not require surgery,” explained Ignacio Previgliano, the hospital's director.
The Noticias Argentinas news agency reported Monday that the two survivors "are OK,” with their relatives on their way to the country.
According to Previgliano, the hospital is in daily contact with doctors from the French Embassy in Argentina.
In addition to running over the three women and two people who were unharmed, the out-of-control cab also crashed into two cars.
When the SAME arrived on the scene, the driver was suffering “loss of consciousness,” said Crescenti.
“We do not know if he had a heart attack first and then had a stroke or if the stroke occurred before – it is a combination of pathologies,” Crescenti continued.
The cab driver is receiving "mechanical respiratory assistance" at the Rivadavia hospital and has "a reserved prognosis,” he added.
Bichet’s parents were travelling to Argentina as of Sunday and expected to arrive on Monday.