A video recording has appeared in the case of a car accident involving the chauffeur-driven Mercedes of a vice president of Russia's largest independent oil company, LUKoil, that resulted in two deaths.
A well-known gynecologist, Vera Sidelnikova, and her daughter-in-law Olga Alexandrina died in last week's accident. The LUKoil executive, Anatoly Barkov, was hospitalized while his driver declined hospital treatment. Police initially said Alexandrina was to blame for the crash, but the family and eyewitnesses have disputed the official version of events.
The official report, backed up by LUKoil, said the small Citroen driven by Alexandrina swerved into the opposing lane and hit the Mercedes head-on. The family says the oil executive's car pulled out into oncoming traffic to bypass one of Moscow's notorious traffic jams, and they will take their case to court.
Police at first said there were no video recordings. The newly found recording shows a car resembling Barkov's Mercedes making a move toward the "reserve" lane that divides the traffic. The moment of the crash cannot be seen as the tragedy site is hidden behind an ad poster.
The case has struck a chord with the Russian public, who spend hours sitting in traffic jams while the rich and powerful speed past.
Official statistics showed nearly 30,000 people died on Russia's roads in 2008, and President Dmitry Medvedev has blamed the carnage on the poor state of the country's roads, as well as a "lack of discipline, and the criminal negligence of drivers."
MOSCOW, March 6 (RIA Novosti)