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Driver who killed two cyclists in Valencia tests positive for drink, drugs

Source: El Pais - Mon 8th May 2017
Driver who killed two cyclists in Valencia tests positive for drink, drugs

Spain’s Civil Guard have arrested a driver responsible for killing two cyclists and injuring four others on Sunday morning along a stretch of road between the Mediterranean holiday towns of Denia and Oliva, in Valencia. The accident happened at 8.30am on the N-332 coastal road, when the 28-year-old female driver, who has not been named, plowed into a group of six cyclists, members of a club in nearby Xàbia who went out on trips together each Sunday.

) The two men killed in the accident have been named as Eduardo Monfort Gasent, aged 28, and Luis Alberto Contreras, 50. The injured were named as Andrés Contreras, Scott Gordon, and José Antonio Albi.

Speaking to Spanish national radio, Jaime Escortell, who was slightly injured after he managed to avoid the car by throwing himself onto the hard shoulder, said: “We didn’t have time to say anything, we saw the car coming across the road diagonally and it swept us away. The car was going very fast, it didn’t brake at all.”

The driver of the vehicle tested positive for alcohol and drugs. She has been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, along with three of injury. After she was released from hospital she was taken to the Civil Guard’s barracks in nearby Gandia, and will remain in custody for the time being.

Of the three injured, one man has been admitted to hospital in Denia with fractured arms and legs. The other two cyclists are in intensive care and their condition is critical.

The two dead men were from Xàbia, where three days of mourning have been declared by the mayor, José Chulvi.

“We are left with a feeling of deep pain and impotence: this morning, a group of residents from Xàbia went out to enjoy some sport and two of them have left their lives on the road and three more are injured. This is a terrible and absurd accident that has left us in a state of shock,” said the mayor at a special meeting of the town council on Sunday afternoon.

“Today is not the day, but this terrible event forces us to think and to demand that the necessary measures are taken to increase the safety of cyclists on the road,” added Chulvi.

The club the cyclists belonged to posted a message on its Facebook page: “We hope the full force of the law falls on the driver that caused this accident and tragedy.”

Juan Carlos Moragues, the central government’s representative in the Valencia region, issued a statement calling for greater awareness of the problem of drunk driving: “We have to be conscious that somebody behind the wheel who is under the influence of alcohol and drugs is a deadly weapon.”

Recommended Reading :

* Spain DGT report on 2016 road fatalities

* Brit charges in Alicante pro-cyclist crash

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