There is an unfortunate history of road accidents that occur as motorcades transporting political figures careen through populated areas. The latest incident recently took place in Cameroon: Samantha Powers, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, were being transported through the country and her motorcade accidentally hit a boy. A crowd gathered to watch the motorcade speed by, and the seven year old was in a bad spot as the cars came through. It was reported that a man tried to get in a way to prevent the boy from being hit, but unfortunately he was too late. He was sent to a hospital but died from his injuries. Powers did return to the location later in the day to meet the family and extend her condolences.
Powers was visiting for a good reason: addressing local officials in regards to stopping terrorist group Boko Haram. This deadly incident looks to be an unfortunate, but regular occurrence in such scenarios. It even happens in developed countries, one recent example being a pedestrian killed by a motorcade for Joe Biden in Washington D.C. back in 2009.
It’s difficult to come up with a solution for how these incidents can be prevented in the future. The speeds may be necessary for security reasons, but clearly they pose a threat to those in the path of the cars. Keeping pedestrians out of the way would require a great deal of manpower, which wouldn’t be realistic in poorer countries. The best course of action is likely to inform citizens the motorcade is coming through, and to stay away.