In the ongoing unfolding of the unfortunate accident that occurred on June 11th in Baku, Azerbaijan, where three Austrian synchronized swimmers were injured after being struck by a shuttle bus in the 2015 European Games athlete village, charges have now officially been filed against the driver involved.
Azerbaijani Interior Ministry and prosecutors, in a joint statement, declared that bus operator, Veli Ahmadov, who was behind the wheel when Vanessa Sahinovic, Luna Pajer and Verena Breit were hit, has been accused of “breach of road rules” and a criminal case has now been opened against him. Authorities also indicated that Ahmadov’s employer, Bakubus, may also face legal action for “possibly breaching rules on employing qualified drivers.” (ESPN Olympics)
Allegations of village staff having been drunk while on duty are also surfacing, with the Azerbaijani media suggesting that alcohol indeed may “have been a factor in the crash”. Of this speculation, Baku organizing committee Chief Operating Officer, Simon Clegg, said that the very serious suggestion would be “investigated immediately”, but was sure to clarify that “There is absolutely nothing to suggest at this moment in time that alcohol played any part in the tragic incident.”
Of the three synchronized swimmers involved in the accident, Vanessa Sahinovic, Luna Pajer and Verena Breit, Sahinovic was initially reported to have sustained the most severe injuries and was flown back to Austria (along with Pajer) to continue intensive care treatment. As of yesterday, Sahinovic was in a medically induced coma, but was described as being in stable condition.