Reckless driving took eight lives and left 15 seriously injured in Kryviy Rih early on April 17, when a Mazda car making an illegal turn at a crossroads hit a minibus and sent it careening into oncoming traffic in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.
The minibus collided head-on with a bus taking workers to the ArcelorMittal steel plant in Kryviy Rih, a city of 654,900 people in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. The bus with the workers then smashed into a tree by the roadside.
Eight people died at the scene of the accident, and 15 were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, the National Police of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast reported on its official website on April 17.
ArcelorMittal’s press service reported on Facebook on April 17 that most of the crash victims were plant workers. The press service said the plant would cover all of the costs of medical treatment and funerals.
“The National Police have opened a criminal investigation into a violation of road safety rules that caused the deaths of several people,” the police press service said.
The Mazda driver, whom police have identified only as “a 68-year-old man,” was detained at the scene.
Anna Starchevskaya, a Dnipropetrovsk Oblast police spokesperson, told the Kyiv Post that the Mazda driver was completely sober and had received minor injuries.
Asked if he was to blame for an accident, Starchevskaya said the Mazda driver is a suspect in the case.
“Only the courts will decide. But it was the Mazda driver … that violated the road safety rules and caused the car crash,” Starchevskaya said.
According to the latest statistics of the National Police from Jan. 31, there were more than 160,000 car accidents in Ukraine in 2017. More than 58,000 of them were caused by violations of road safety rules, in particular illegal maneuvers – which caused the deaths of 199 people. Overall, 3,432 people were killed and 35,000 injured in road accidents in Ukraine last year.
Following another horrific crash in October, when a 20-year-old driver in Kharkiv, Olena Zaitseva, killed six and injured five pedestrians in a high-speed crash, the Ukrainian government drew up stricter rules to improve road safety in cities and towns all over Ukraine. The new rules came into effect from the start of January.