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Riders killed in Italian accident, driver arrested

  • By Agence France Presse
  • Published Dec. 5, 2010
  • Updated Dec. 5, 2010 at 5:00 PM EDT

At least seven cyclists were killed and four injured on Sunday when a car drove into a group of amateur club riders in Calabria, southern Italy, local police told AFP.

“There are seven dead and four injured,” said police at Lamezia Terme, the city where the accident happened. Subsequent news reports raised the number of fatalities to eight.

All the victims of the accident were local, said police.

Of the driver, police said: “He was under the influence of drugs and moreover was driving without a license.”

First reports said the accident happened when a driver lost control of his car while trying to overtake on a main road in the Catanzaro region at the tip of Italy.

The Moroccan driver was unable to brake in time when he was confronted by the cyclists and hit them head on, ending up in a ditch.

Police arrested him on suspicion of manslaughter at the hospital where he was taken for treatment, ANSA added.

Tests on the driver showed that he was under the influence of cannabis at the time of the accident, ANSA reported.

He had lost his license seven months earlier for careless driving, the agency added.

Officials in Lamezia Terme have declared that the day of the funerals of the victims would be an official day of mourning.

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