Russian VIP auto convoy 'kills four pedestrians': watchdog

21st September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Four migrant workers were mown down on a pedestrian crossing close to Moscow by a motorcade reportedly carrying a top banker, the head of a road safety campaign group told AFP Wednesday.

Two cars, a Mercedes and a Toyota Land Cruiser, ran over and killed the men from ex-Soviet Moldova as they used a pedestrian crosswalk on the road leading to the city's southern Domodedovo airport, Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported.

"According to many eyewitnesses, the convoy was travelling at a speed of at least 120 km/h at this location, where the speed limit is 40 km/h due to roadworks," Sergei Kanayev, the head of an influential drivers' federation, told AFP.

"According to our sources, the cars belong to Avangard bank and one of them was carrying a top executive of this bank," he said.

Avangard is a medium-sized commercial bank based in Moscow.

Moscow region's police refused to comment on these allegations to AFP.

Avangard bank told news website that it did not "have any information regarding the bank's cars being involved in the accident."

Muscovites are regularly killed and injured in accidents involving cars carrying officials and businessmen that are equipped with blue flashing emergency lights, allowing them to circumvent traffic jams.

Exasperated bloggers have formed online communities posting photos and videos of executives' cars that break the rules and publicising hit-and-run accidents ignored by the traffic police.

The movement against officials' impunity on the road has gathered steam especially after two women were killed in a frontal collision with a Lukoil oil company executive in 2010 and accused of swerving into oncoming traffic.

Road workers, many of them migrants from ex-Soviet states in Central Asia, are particularly vulnerable to hit-and-run accidents and have even been shot by irate drivers.

© 2011 AFP

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