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Fatal collision driver on meds, girl died from head trauma (update 2)

The remains of the pickup truck in which five-year-old Maria-Christina Demetriou was killed

The five-year-old girl killed in a traffic accident on Monday died from severe head trauma sustained during the collision, State pathologist Nicholas Charalambous said on Tuesday.

Earlier, a court heard that a 34-year-old man held in connection with causing the fatal road collision on the motorway between Rizoelia and Ayia Napa had been driving under the influence of drugs and had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Police said that the man, who was remanded in custody for six days, had tested positive for opioids after the crash.

The man told officers that he was being treated by a psychiatrist and was taking medicines. He said he had fallen asleep before the violent collision and woke up after his car came to a standstill some 200 metres down the road.

The five-year-old’s mother and brother were also seriously injured in the incident.

Police said the incident happened at around 2.20pm on the motorway between Rizoelia and Ayia Napa, near the exit to Avdelero.

The man’s vehicle slammed into the rear of a twin-cab pickup driven by a 35-year-old from Larnaca with his wife, 35, and children, a girl aged five and two boys aged three and nine, as passengers.

The pickup was thrust towards the left, crashing into a barricade before flipping and coming to a standstill on the tarmac in the middle of the road.

The suspect’s car continued for some 200 metres before stopping, possibly from engine failure.

The 35-year-old woman, police said, sustained head trauma, and other injuries to her body from the broken glass. She is being cared for at Larnaca General and her condition is stable.

According to authorities, the three-year-old boy is intubated at Makarios Hospital in Nicosia, where his nine-year-old brother is also being cared for as a precautionary measure.

Police arrested the 34-year-old on Monday evening. When he was cautioned, he replied “ok I admit,” the investigator told the court.

The man will be examined by a state doctor to determine whether the treatment he claimed he was receiving affected his driving. Police said they were also waiting for the result of a second narcotest.

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