Video of Russian millionaire in fatal crash sparks outrage

2nd September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian media aired a video showing a collision between a millionaire businessman in a Mercedes and a 24-year-old man on a motorbike, who died at the scene, prompting outrage Friday.

In the accident on August 27 on a highway west of Moscow, supermarket founder Alexander Zaribko tried to overtake a motorbike ridden by Stanislav Lopatkin, LifeNews website reported, posting a video of the incident.

Zaribko is a founder of a chain of supermarkets called Viktoria.

According to Forbes magazine, he owned a 29-percent stake in the enterprise, valued at 20 billion rubles ($687 million/483 million euros) before it was sold earlier this year.

The video filmed by a dashboard camera on another car shows the driver apparently changing lanes at high speed, colliding with the biker and throwing him onto the hard shoulder before continuing without slowing down.

Investigators "believe that they don't have any reason to launch a case", said spokeswoman for the investigative committee in the Moscow region, Oksana Shlyakhtina, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The incident caused outrage among Russian bloggers and bikers, who viewed it as yet another case where a wealthy offender escapes justice.

"In the battle between money and video evidence, money will always win," one blogger identified as silentiy, who described himself as a 26-year-old biker wrote on Livejournal.

However some bloggers wrote that motorcyclists tend to change lanes quickly and speed between cars with disregard for their own safety.

Road accidents involving senior officials and businessmen have become hot topics in the Russian blogosphere.

In the most notorious case, last year an executive in Russia's largest private oil company Lukoil was involved in a crash in his chauffeur-driven Mercedes that killed the two women in the other vehicle.

Investigators claimed the driver of the second car was guilty and closed the probe due to her death, but the authorities reopened the case in July at the request of the dead woman's relatives.

© 2011 AFP

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