Suspected perpetrator of Saturday road accident detained for 48 hours

Police investigators have started interrogating the KAMAZ truck driver who is regarded as the main suspect in the Saturday deadly road accident near Podolsk in the territory of New Moscow, Interfax was told at the press service of the Interior Ministry main department for Moscow.

"The perpetrator of the traffic accident has been detained for 48 hours. Investigators are conducting the first interrogation," a department spokesman said. Police investigators will demand in court the arrest of the KAMAZ truck driver.

"A motion to court for his arrest will be compiled shortly which will permit us taking him into custody and continuing the investigation," deputy chief of the investigative division of the Interior Ministry department for Moscow Alexei Kuznetsov said in an interview. He said the driver had been in the state of artificial coma which the doctors stopped some time ago and investigators are currently documenting the driver's detention.

"Work is currently under way to appoint technical and forensic studies that should help reconstruct the full picture of the accident," Kuznetsov said. As for the KAMAZ driver Kuznetsov said he is a citizen of Armenia. "He drove the vehicle with a license issued in Armenia which means that he did not even have a Russian driver's license," Kuznetsov said. He stressed that during last year the driver was penalized seven times for the violation of traffic rules such as driving to the opposite lane and using a technically faulty vehicle.

"We have identified the owner of the vehicle - a private individual, certain investigative measures will be applied to him too," Kuznetsov said.

Earlier reports said that the gravel-laden KAMAZ crashed into the side of a passenger bus, tearing the back half off, at around 1 p.m. on Saturday near Podolsk in the territory of New Moscow. The latest reports say 18 people died and over 60 more were injured in the accident, out of which over 30 were hospitalized.

A criminal case was launched in relation to the accident and massive deaths. Investigators place the blame on the KAMAZ driver - a 45-yer-old citizen of Armenia who ignored the right of passage rule when turning onto the primary road.

Monday, July 15 has been declared a day of mourning in Moscow.

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