Investigators have been studying the shocking shots of the fatal accident in the heart of St. Petersburg. On the night of February 24, an SUV at full speed flew to the sidewalk, right into the crowd of passers-by. People did not even have time to react, the car-killer rushed on pedestrians, not even trying to slow down. Two people died on the spot. Both victims were tourists — one of them American and another one Muscovite.
Much is already known about the culprit, Murad Kasimov was deprived of his driver's license in November. Judging by the photo on social networks, he likes to ride at high speed and go to nightclubs. The Channel 5 publishes the last details of the death race on Nevsky Prospect.
After a terrible accident on Nevsky Prospekt, the relatives of the daredevil are in confusion. They say it is not like Murad Kasymov. They do not want to believe that he could have taken someone else's life.
«I just can't figure it out. First of all, I want to offer my condolences to the families of the victims… To be honest, it's very difficult for me», Murad's father said.
«His sisters and brothers and we could stand at this stop. We all understand that», the rider's brother admits.
The facts speak for themselves. The video from the cameras, which has already been distributing on all social networks (which has become viral), is the main evidence of the motorist's guilt.
At half-past midnight on Nevsky Prospect 55, the driver of the BMW X6 lost control, hit two oncoming cars and flew to the sidewalk. He hit five pedestrians at full speed. The speed of the car was so high that even after the collision he did not stop, but rushed under this arch and crashed into a pole. Two victims died on the spot.
Three others got hurt. Andrei Aksyonov remembers: passers-by have been throwing aside by the blow. The driver did not even try to slow down.
«He instantly flew straight to the sidewalk from the cars stream at high speed, so it was difficult to react there», says Andrei Aksyonov, who suffered in the accident.
The footage immediately after the accident shows the broken doors and windows of the building the SUV crashed into. Passers-by immediately rushed to the victims to help.
«One of them was dragged to the hotel, one was lying right in front of the hotel in extremely poor condition», says the eyewitness.
The victims were taken to Mariinsky Hospital. Two men with craniocerebral injuries are already on the mend. The woman with craniocerebral injury is still in intensive care.
«The woman in serious condition was operated on at night — all three of them about 30 years old and arrived from Moscow», says the press secretary of the Mariinsky hospital Maria Khitarishvili.
Yevgeniya Kornienkova from Moscow and Todd Crowell from the United States died. The developer of mobile games traveled all around Russia and was about to finish a racing simulator with its expanses.
«He told me he was going to travel around the country. He got to Irkutsk. And he was very flattering about everything. He liked our country very much», said Yevgeny Golantsev, a friend of the deceased American.
Todd had been living in St. Petersburg for several years. He loved to relax in local bars. Here the sociable traveler has found a lot of friends.
«If you meet any guest, I think he'll only say good words. Very cultural, good person. He met girls as culturally and behaved like a knight», the bartender recalls.
Murad Kasymov, who was driving the BMW during the hit-and-run, also loved to have a nice rest. Photos with guns and expensive cars are like from gangster movies.
In the last two years alone, Murad Kasymov had 55 fines. In November, he was deprived of his driver's license. That's probably why the daredevil tried to escape from the scene of the accident. After the collision, he didn't have a scratch on him. But he hadn't gone far away.
Kasymov allegedly inhaled a ball of nitrous oxide before leaving. Ironically, both the culprit and his victim, Todd Crowell, had rest in the same bars. A friend of the American remembers — balloons with cheerful gas are not difficult to find in the center of St. Petersburg.
«These balloons, they're everywhere. When Todd and I were on Dumskaya Street, just Friday night, these balloons were just everywhere. And they were so popular here. And when you turn your head, you'll definitely see people with these balloons. And I'm shocked it all happened and that it's happening», says Cannon Bordelon, a friend of Todd Crowell's who died.
After every night of fun, there are dozens of used balloons on this street of bars. Nitrous oxide became popular with Russian youth a couple of years ago. When inhaled, it creates a sense of euphoria.
«Reduces reaction rate, disrupts coordination. Depending on the dosage taken by the person, the action of this substance can last up to 12 hours» — doctor psychiatrist and psychotherapist Stanislav Poltorak convinced.
Sometimes a high dose of nitrous oxide leads to death. If forensics proves that Murad Kasymov had taken illegal substances, it will be an aggravating factor. Then the young man may face up to nine years in prison.