HAVANA, may 28th Interior Ministry authorities and the National Road Safety Commission offered the preliminary results of the investigation into the traffic accident that took place at midnight on May 19, along the Havana Malecón, which until now has left five dead and almost 20 injured.
“The incident occurred when a privately owned car, driven by a 33-year-old man, traveling along the middle lane of Malecón Avenue, from Galeano in the direction of Paseo Street, drove up onto the sidewalk and hit people who were gathered there and then crashed into the seawall.”
This was stated by Lieutenant Colonel Jesús Aguilar Hernández, head of the Traffic Department at the Criminal Investigation Operations Division, who added that the investigations showed that the road surface along which the vehicle was traveling was dry, in good condition, with good artificial lighting and visibility.
Regarding the technical revision of the vehicle, he pointed out that the front wheel brake system was defective, dry grease was found on the brake shoes, and uneven friction marks on the drums.
Aguilar likewise specified that the detailed inspection of the lower base of the right-hand grille of the vehicle is ongoing, corresponding to the suspension system, which is fractured and deformed.
“In the breath, urine and blood tests of the driver, a blood ethanol concentration of 81 milligrams was determined at the time of the event, which indicates that he had consumed alcoholic beverages and, although he was not incapacitated, his ability to drive was affected.”
Traces of menthol, caffeine, nicotine and ibuprofen were found in the urine sample, while no presence of illegal drugs was found, Aguilar added.
In an interview with the passengers, they commented that the vehicle was moving at high speed and with loud music playing. Four of them reported having seen a pedestrian step off the sidewalk, which caused the driver to violently swerve the vehicle, causing it to crash into people who were on the sidewalk and against the seawall, the official explained.
A team continues to carry out investigative and criminal procedures, to obtain further evidence regarding the dynamics and the circumstances surrounding the incident, and its causes.
Reinaldo Becerra Acosta, secretary of the National Road Safety Commission, reported that the vehicle, belonging to the driver’s father, had not undergone a technical inspection to certify its safety since 2007.
On this subject, he noted, technical revision measures for private vehicles are already being evaluated in order to avoid such situations.
Becerra also noted that up until 2014, the driver had received five administrative sanctions of suspension of his license, and 40 fines, of them, 11 for dangerous driving.
Ulises Canales (54 years old), journalist at the Latin American News Agency, Prensa Latina, died at the scene.
Franklin Baket (51 years old).
Osmany González Claro (45 years old).
Yurislandy Martínez (21 years old).
Yanelys Masó León (34 years old).
MAIN CAUSES OF ACCIDENTS IN CUBA:
Not paying due attention when driving
Not respecting the right of way
Driving under the influence of alcohol
In 2018, these five causes were attributed to:
65% of accidents
33% of deaths
60.6% of injuries
First published http://en.granma.cu