Moscow police have reportedly opened a criminal investigation into a taxi driver who veered off the road and crashed into a group of several pedestrians on Saturday.
The incident took place during a traffic jam near the Kremlin and left eight injured, including at least two Mexican World Cup fans, according to the Associated Press.
Police in Moscow say the driver told them he had been awake for 20 hours and fell asleep at the wheel the day before Mexico’s opening match against Germany, however, the AP notes it is unclear whether the driver offered this information under duress following his arrest.
Video of the incident seems to bring that explanation into question. While stuck in traffic, the taxi takes a sharp turn off the road before accelerating onto the sidewalk and into a crowd of pedestrians who were facing the opposite direction and unable to see the approaching danger.
The car only came to a stop after crashing into a traffic sign. The driver, a 28-year-old national of Kyrgyzstan, immediately exited the taxi, fled the scene on foot and was subdued by onlookers shortly after. He later said he ran because he was fearful of being killed by those who witnessed the crash.
The area near the crash scene is very popular with tourists as it sits only a few blocks from Red Square and GUM shopping center. Witnesses speaking to BBC News also questioned the driver’s explanation for the crash and noted most of the injured were female. Further reports confirm the driver had not been drinking before the incident.
Speaking to the AP, the Mexican Embassy said it had met with two injured fans who were not hospitalized.
Moscow authorities would not comment on any possible changes to World Cup security as a result of the crash.
Graphic video of the incident has been posted below. Viewer discretion is advised.
Lamentable, aficionados entre los que se encontraba uno mexicano fueron atropellados en Rusia. pic.twitter.com/3dnzJOS2JY
— TVC Deportes (@TVCDeportes) June 16, 2018
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