Seventh person dies after car ploughs into skiers in north Italy

6 January 2020, 19:04

Emergency services of the Luttach voluntary fire brigade secure an accident site after a car drove into a group of people leaving a bus
Emergency services of the Luttach voluntary fire brigade secure an accident site after a car drove into a group of people leaving a bus. Picture: PA

By Sylvia DeLuca

A young woman is the seventh person to die after a suspected drink-driver ploughed into a group of German skiers on holiday in northern Italy.

The accident occurred early on Sunday in the village of Valle Aurina, north east of Bolzano in Italy's Alto Adige region, as the Germans gathered near their tour bus.

The victims were aged between 20 and 25 and had been leaving a club to return to their bed and breakfast when they were struck while crossing the road.

The seventh woman killed was one of two who had been airlifted to a hospital in nearby Austria in a critical condition, Bolzano police said.

Italy's ANSA news agency identified her as a 21-year-old who died at the Innsbruck University Clinic.

On Sunday police said six people died at the scene and 11 were injured, but gave no immediate details on Monday on their conditions.

Candle and a commemoration letter placed at the at the scene where a car had plowed into a group of people in Luttach
Candle and a commemoration letter placed at the at the scene where a car had plowed into a group of people in Luttach. Picture: PA

The 27-year-old local man who was driving the car was taken to an Italian hospital after the accident but was soon released and taken to prison.

He faces a possible 18-year sentence if convicted.

Italian news reports said the driver's blood alcohol level was allegedly nearly four times the legal limit and that he crashed into the tourists as they were getting off their bus and returning home after an evening out.

His lawyer told the German news agency dpa that he did not think his client was so intoxicated.

Volunteer firefighter Helmut Abfalterer said the scene was "like a battlefield."

General view on a street where a car had plowed into a group of people in Luttach, near Bruneck in the northern region South Tirol, Italy
General view on a street where a car had plowed into a group of people in Luttach, near Bruneck in the northern region South Tirol, Italy. Picture: PA

The shuttle bus driver, who had dropped off the group of victims moments before they were injured, told Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera: "I had just unloaded the boys and after a few moments, in front of me a few tens of meters I noticed the car at neutral speed coming towards us.

"I flashed to tell the driver to slow down, trying to warn him of the danger, but it was useless.

"A few seconds later from the rear-view mirror I saw those poor young men flying through the air."

The resort, in a largely German-speaking part of the Dolomites, is a popular snowsports spot.

South Tyrol governor Arno Kompatscher told a press conference: "The new year begins with a tragedy, we are close to the victims and their relatives."

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

(Alamy)

Turkey lifts objections to Sweden and Finland joining Nato

Capitol Riot Investigation

Trump was told protesters had weapons on January 6, former aide says

Dog in Drainage Pipe

New York trooper crawls into drainage pipe to rescue missing dog

Workers at the scene where an Amtrak train was derailed after striking a lorry

Four killed and dozens injured as passenger train is derailed in US state

France New Parliament

French parliament elects Braun-Pivet as new speaker

The clip shows panicked civilians in a nearby park

Harrowing new footage emerges of Putin's terror strike on shopping centre

Migrant Deaths

50 migrants die after lorry trailer abandoned in Texas heat

Migrants in Spain

Spanish PM blames traffickers and migrants for deaths at border in Morocco

John Hinckley Jr

Hinckley says he is sorry for shooting that wounded Reagan

Ukrainian shopping centre

Macron says Russia cannot win in Ukraine after strike on shopping centre

Colombia Prison Fire

Fire kills 49 following riot at prison in Colombia

Former Nazi concentration camp guard covers his face as he arrives at a gym used as a makeshift courtroom

Nazi guard, 101, jailed for five years for serving in concentration camp

Wimbledon 2022 – Day Two – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

Adding artificial fibres to grass could see Wimbledon-style courts around world

Destruction in Aleppo

More than 300,000 civilians killed in Syrian conflict – UN

Mary Mara during 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival

ER and Law & Order actress Mary Mara dies aged 61 after drowning in New York river

A man with breathing difficulties

Jordan’s PM promises inquiry into deadly blast at Red Sea port