Driver of fatal New Year crash faces manslaughter

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The 44-year-old driver involved in a fatal crash in Limassol moments into the New Year, that led to the death of four people in another car, will face trial with manslaughter charges.

The man, allegedly responsible for the tragic accident at a junction on the Limassol-Platres road that claimed the lives of four relatives, appeared before Limassol District Court around noon on Monday.

The Transport Minister also decided to install traffic cameras at the location, where accidents frequently occur.

According to media reports, following a thorough examination of all the evidence, the Legal Services said it will initiate criminal proceedings against the 44-year-old, charging him with involuntary manslaughter under Article 205 of the Penal Code.

He is also accused of running a red light.

The court proceedings are scheduled to take place in the Limassol Criminal Court, which has the jurisdiction for cases carrying a potential sentence exceeding five years.

The tragic incident unfolded shortly after midnight on Sunday in Kato Polemidia, near Limassol, claiming the lives of four people, all members of the same family.

The victims are 27-year-old Vathoula Georgiou, her 17-year-old brother Nikolas Georgiou, their 73-year-old grandfather Nikolas Zavrou, and 74-year-old grandmother Evanthia Georgiou. The two grandchildren were taking their grandparents home after festive New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Following the accident, the 44-year-old driver, who suffered from broken ribs, was apprehended and received medical care at Limassol General Hospital. He was later remanded in custody for six days by the Limassol District Court.

Local media reports suggested that Limassol traffic police, after analysing nearby CCTV footage, determined that the 44-year-old driver of the pick-up truck had run a red light and was speeding at the intersection of Ayias Anastasias and Yianni Kranidioti streets. The collision occurred with the other car, driven by 27-year-old Georgiou, who was making a right turn.

The impact led to the immediate death of all four passengers, with the fire service called in to remove them from the vehicle.

New traffic cams

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades announced on Monday that traffic cameras will be installed at the intersection where the accident occurred.

The decision follows a meeting between the minister and officials from the Public Works Department, where recommendations were discussed in the aftermath of the crash.

After the meeting, Minister Vafeades said that the recommendations to the road safety council include a range of both short-term and long-term measures.

“As an immediate step, the installation of cameras to monitor speed is proposed. In the meantime, regular police patrols will be suggested for the area until the implementation of the camera system,” Vafeades said.