Police suspect that a motorist – who was involved in a serious collision that killed three people over the weekend in Limassol – may have assaulted a taxi driver in a separate incident earlier that same morning.
Limassol police have already questioned the 25-year-old driver of the pick-up truck and he was remanded in police custody for five days. The three men in the other car were killed in the crash at the traffic light junction in Pano Polemidia. Investigators are still looking into who could have run the red light.
The 25-year-old is currently under police guard at a private clinic in Limassol. A second man in the same pick-up truck with the 25-year-old was also injured but not seriously.
Speaking to state radio on Monday, Traffic Department Deputy Director Philippos Papaelias called on anyone with information on the accident or the incident with the taxi driver to contact the police.
He noted that it remained unclear which of the two pick-up trucks had gone through a red light, adding that “we are investigating every possibility.”
Taxi driver incident
The latest development now sees the 25-year-old having reportedly attacked a taxi driver around an hour before the fatal collision.
According to the 54-year-old taxi driver’s statements to police, he had been driving along Georgiou A Street in the tourist area of Yermasoyia, Limassol at around 4am on Saturday when he attempted to overtake a car driven by who police believe to be the 25-year-old suspect.
The taxi driver said a car, strongly resembling the one being driven by the suspect, had been travelling at a very low speed while the driver of that car was also behaving erratically and beeping his horn.
The taxi driver said that shortly after he overtook the car, the pick-up truck overtook him and cut him off. The taxi driver said the suspect then began swearing at him, got out of his vehicle, approached the taxi and began repeatedly punching him in the face before then driving off.
The taxi driver managed to get to Limassol General Hospital and was then transferred to Nicosia General Hospital for further treatment. The taxi driver, meanwhile, has told investigators that he saw a total of three men in the truck although only two men were in the truck that crashed at the traffic light.
According to some media reports, the suspect may have changed vehicles between the alleged incident with the taxi driver and the accident.
Road safety plea
Papaelias has once again called on motorists to follow road safety laws, noting a campaign between March 27 and April 2 had seen 606 drivers caught going through red lights.
“It is tragic that someone setting off for work in the morning and dies on the road instead,” Papaelias said.
He also announced the start of a road safety campaign targeting motorcyclists from Monday.
The three killed have been named as being Andreas Yiasemi, 32, Demetris Savva, also 32, and Panayiotis Stephanou, 23, who had been on their way to work in Ayia Napa at the time of the accident, around 5.10am.
Papaelias, meanwhile, also confirmed that another man, a 64 year-old taxi driver from Lakatamia who lost his life on Saturday morning on the Nicosia-Larnaca motorway, had crashed his vehicle after suffering a heart attack. His passenger was slightly injured in the crash.