Emilio Ballack died when a quad bike he was riding shot three feet in the air and crushed him as he prepared to give a female friend a ride home, it has been claimed.
The 18-year-old, son of German footballer Michael, was reversing out of the garage at his father’s holiday villa in Portugal around 2am Thursday when tragedy struck.
As he reversed the bike tipped backwards, causing the front wheels to come off the floor and the vehicle to shoot 3ft up in the air before falling on him, an employee at the villa told the Mail Online.
The accident is thought to have been witnessed by the horrified girl who informed Emilio’s family what had happened, before they called emergency services.
Firefighters rushed to the scene to pull Emilio free, but he was so seriously wounded that he was pronounced dead at the scene.
His injuries were so severe that rescuers were offered counselling afterwards.
Emilio Ballack, 18 (left in his last Instagram post, right with mother Simone), died at his father’s holiday home in Portugal on Thursday after a quad bike he was riding flipped
Police said Emilio (left, with father Michael right) was performing ‘a manoeuvre’ on the bike shortly after 2am when it shot 3ft up in the air and then landed on him
A worker at the holiday villa said: ‘We’ve been told the dead boy was about to give a girl a lift back to her home on his quad when the tragedy happened.
‘He had told her to wait while he manoeuvred it out of the property and that’s when he lost control of the vehicle and lost his life.
‘I don’t know where the girl comes from but she must have been staying in the area somewhere.’
Another added: ‘Apparently she witnessed the tragedy but we’ve been told Emilio’s dad was in the property at the time.’
Fire chief Claudio Tome, whose colleagues were among the first to the scene, said: ‘My understanding is the quad fell on top of the dead man from a height of around three feet after he came off while reversing it.’
Emilio, who had recently graduated from Munich International School, was on holiday at the Portuguese villa along with father Michael and his two brothers – eldest Louis, 19, and youngest Jordi, 16.
All three were said to be inside the home when the accident happened, along with Emilio’s grandparents Karin and Stephan.
Emilio’s body was today taken taken to Lisbon ahead of its expected repatriation to Germany.
Well-placed sources said the autopsy had taken place at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Santiago de Cacem a near two-hour drive south of the Portuguese capital.
An official close to the case confirmed: ‘The boy’s body has now left the institute and has been taken to Lisbon.
‘The results of the post-mortem will not be made public but will be made available to a court in Grandola which is coordinating the ongoing investigation.’
There was no sign of Michael or the rest of his family at their holiday villa, and a small black jeep was the only vehicle parked in the drive.
A second white 4×4 vehicle parked there on Thursday had gone.
Emilio had been holidaying with his family at a property his dad bought several years ago a short walk from Praia de Troia-Gale beach at the end of the Troia Peninsula.
A narrow line of sand dunes separate the villa in a quiet private residential street, off a public road with security-controlled access close to a new five-star hotel eco-resort, from the beach.
Emilio was on a family holiday with his father, two brothers and grandparents at this villa in Portugal when the accident occurred in the early hours of Thursday
Security guards were on patrol at the villa on Friday as the family holed up inside awaiting the results of a post-mortem due later today
Ballack’s mother Karin (right) is said to have alerted the emergency services to the accident. Father Stephan (left) is also thought to have been at the villa
Emilio posted photos of the sun setting over the pristine white sand at the weekend as well as another snap of Comporta Beach Club, a trendy hangout a ten-minute drive from the family holiday home.
His older brother, in an Instagram post late last month showing him sitting on a quad, said of the fun-packed break: ‘Quads were flipped, ferries were missed, new taste buds were explored.’
The Ballacks are understood to have enjoyed a family barbecue on Wednesday evening hours before the tragedy.
It is not clear where Simone Lambe, Ballack’s ex-wife and mother of his three children, was at the time of the accident.
She typically lives with the children in Lake Starnberg, near Munich, with a new husband who she married in 2019 and is not thought to have been on the holiday.
Last week she uploaded images of herself in St Tropez, in the south of France.
Neither Simone or Michael have issued a statement since news of Emilio’s death broke in Portuguese media on Thursday.
On Friday, security guards were patrolling the private street outside the family’s holiday villa as the tragic youngster’s two brothers and other loved ones holed up inside ahead of the post-mortem, which is due to take place today.
The results will be sent to a court in Setubal a 25-minute ferry ride north of Troia which is co-ordinating an investigation into the early-hours tragedy.
Grief counsellors are understood to be assisting Michael and his family.
Ballack made his name playing for Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in Germany before making a big-money move to Chelsea in 2006.
He spent four years at the Premier League club, scoring 25 goals in the process.
The retired football star joined the Blues in 2006 from Bayern Munich and scored 25 goals during his four years at the Premier League club.
Ballack also played for the German national side, making 98 appearances and scoring 42 goals in the process.
He played during World Cup tournaments in 2002, 2006, and played during qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup but never started a finals game due to injury.
Emilio was the middle of Ballack’s three sons, born to long-term partner Simone Lambe (left and right) whom he married in 2008 after the children had been born and divorced in 2012
On July 25, Emilio’s older brother Louis took to Instagram to post about how ‘quads were flipped’ during downtime with friends in Troia, Portugal
He also played in the Euros in 2000, 2004, and 2008 – playing in the final of the latter tournament, which Germany lost to Spain.
Despite a lengthy career for the national side, he never lifted a major international trophy.
Fire chief Claudio Tome, whose officers based at Grandola near Troia responded to the emergency, said as news of the tragedy emerged: ‘I know the dead man was the son of a well-known footballer but I don’t have details about who it was.
‘The accident happened at the family home. The quad rider wasn’t on a public road and his was the only vehicle involved.
‘The quad was on an uneven piece of land and at this stage it appears to have gone backwards and as it did fell on top of the victim and crushed him.’
Jorge Santos, spokesman for the GNR police force in the city of Setubal , confirmed: ‘An 18-year-old man has died following an accident at a private property in Troia.
‘We received an alert shortly after 2am yesterday morning (THURS).
‘I am not at liberty to go into details about the identity of the dead man.
‘I can confirm he was on the vehicle he had his accident in alone.’
He added: ‘The accident happened at a property on a residential estate called Vilas do Mar in Troia.
‘The incident is now under investigation and there is nothing more we can say.’
Although police and firefighters said the incident happened at a private property, respected Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias said Emilio Ballack was reversing out of the property on his quad when he had his fatal accident.
The paper said he is believed to have lost control of the vehicle during the manoeuvre out of the family villa and ended up on a public road with the quad on top of him after falling.
Former Chelsea captain John Terry and Gary Lineker were among those to pay their tributes.
Ballack’s friend Reiner Calmund told Bild: ‘My thoughts are with Michael and his family. It’s all bitter, bitter, bitter.’
Former Germany team boss Rudi Voller said: ‘The news has shocked me and I am deeply affected. We mourn the boy and feel for Michael and Simone.’