Cyprus Mail

Driver in fatal crash to remain in custody until March manslaughter trial

Panayiotis Christoforou's car after the crash

The trial of the 50-year-old Russian man arrested last Saturday in connection with a car crash which killed Panayiotis Christoforou, 27, will start on March 31 next year, the Limassol district court ruled on Friday.

It was decided he will have to remain in custody until then.

The man, who was intoxicated and had also taken sleeping pills, was referred to the Limassol criminal court and will stand trial for manslaughter.

Tests reportedly showed he had 243mg of alcohol in his blood whereas the legal limit is 55mg.

Christophorou, a father of one, was killed on the motorway near the exit to Moutayiaka on November 28 after the 50-year-old’s SUV slammed into the rear of his vehicle, compressing it to about half its original size.

Police said the 27-year-old was heading towards Limassol when his car was struck violently from the back.

The car repeatedly hit the metal railings at the centre of the road before coming to a stop about 200 metres further down.

He was killed instantly having suffered severe injuries to various parts of his body.

A post-mortem found that Christophorou’s thoracic aorta had been severed and he had also suffered fractures to his spine, brain haemorrhage, a ruptured liver, and multiple injuries to other vital organs.

The 50-year-old was hospitalised following the accident and arrested two days later when it was decided to treat the incident as manslaughter.

He underwent a preliminary alcohol test – breathalyser — which showed a reading of 111µg, almost five times the legal limit of 22µg, before later undergoing the blood test.

It was originally thought the vehicle he was driving had an EDR, a device installed in some automobiles to record information related to vehicle crashes, but this was found to be untrue.

In an attempt to obtain as much information as possible on the fatal crash, some vehicle parts were sent to the German manufacturer for tests.

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