Both taxi and fight to blame for death
A beating and injuries sustained after being run over by a taxi both contributed to the death of hairdresser Mario Galea, who was found sprawled in a Paceville road last Friday.
The 47-year-old died from asphyxia – blood he inhaled after the thrashing blocked his airways – followed by pressure on his chest caused by the taxi that accidentally ran him over, an autopsy concluded yesterday.
On the night, two 28-year-old men – Joe Zahra and Gozitan Brian Cini, who both live in St Julian’s – were involved in an argument with Mr Galea and they have since been charged with his murder.
The incident happened in Paceville Avenue at 3.40 a.m. when a fight broke out between the three men.
‘Why didn’t anyone help?’
Mr Galea ended up sprawled in the middle of the road. CCTV footage zooming in on Paceville Avenue, a road that links motorists to the island’s hub of entertainment, shows Mr Galea being kicked and punched as he lay slumped on the road.
Investigators are trying to establish if the row was drug-related.
As he lay motionless, Mr Galea was accidentally run over by taxi driver Robert Aquilina.
When contacted, Mr Galea’s sister, Carmen, said she was still trying to understand how none of the bystanders did anything to break up the fight or later prevent her younger brother from being run over.
“Why didn’t anyone do anything to try to help or stop the taxi from turning into the road? Where’s the humanity?
“It’s heartless to leave him in the middle of the road. I hope justice is done,” she said.
Mr Galea’s funeral will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Stella Maris parish church.