A Saturday night with friends in Rome. Selfies posted on Instagram. The homecoming and the tragedy. Anzio mourns Matteo La Perna and Mattia Patriarca, the two 18-year-olds who died in a car accident on the Via Pontina. Together with them there were two other boys, the same age, they were injured. Broken lives, irremediably compromised, those of the group of friends with a passion for football and motors. All very close. Two other young victims of the road, with the capital that a few days ago had already mourned Henok Girmay Gebrearegawi, 22 years old who died on the Lungotevere.
The four had spent Saturday evening in Campo de ‘Fiori. Getting into a Volkswagen Polo, Mattia Patriarca took a picture with his friend Matteo La Perna and posted it on his Instagram stories. They were sitting in the back seat. It is the last image of the two 18-year-olds.
At the junction for via del Tufetto, on the Pontina, the driver of the Polo, another 18-year-old, lost control of the car, which crashed into the guard rail and overturned. Patriarca and La Perna were thrown out of the cockpit: they died instantly.
It was around 4 in the morning on October 3rd. The Polo, according to the reconstruction of the traffic police investigating, was then hit by a Ford Focus and then a Nissan Qashqai. The 18-year-old driving the Polo was hospitalized in serious condition in the clinical city of Aprilia, while a 17-year-old who was next to him in the same car was treated and immediately discharged. Mattia and Matteo had just stopped playing competitive football last summer, a sport they had always played in Anzio.
The first played in the Falasche team, Matteo in the Nettuno youth team. At the end of their respective championship days, both Nettuno Calcio and Anzio Calcio wanted to express the condolences of the club and the players with touching social messages.
“Nettuno Calcio abstains from the celebrations for the victory of the first championship match and hugs the families of the young boys, Mattia Patriarca and Matteo La Perna, who this morning left us in a bad accident on the Pontina. One cannot accept a death in this way and from so young. Let us pray for the other wounded children “.
Participation in the pain also on the part of Anzio Calcio: “On the occasion of the match against Cantalice, Anzio Calcio held an ideal embrace with the family of the young Mattia Patriarca, the young eighteen year old who lost his life this morning in a dramatic accident on the Pontina state road. The elderly young man in the recent past had played in the Neronian youth teams, always distinguishing himself for his application and loyalty. At the end of the game, Mr. Mario Guida dedicated the victory on behalf of the whole team to Mattia’s family and to Matteo La Perna, the other boy who died in the terrible accident. Hear condolences from all the staff of Anzio Calcio and from those who write with great effort “.
Matteo La Perna had recently turned 18, on 12 August last. Fate had already raged on him and his family less than a month ago, taking his father from him for a bad illness.
The Mayor Candido De Angelis also remembers the two 18-year-olds: “There are no words to express the pain of our community for the tragic road accident which, this morning, was fatal to two boys from Anzio, both eighteen, who grew up in the fields of football of our territory. The whole city of Anzio is close to the pain of the families and of the many friends of Matteo and Mattia, today is a day of mourning, prayer and reflection for all of us “.