Five people probed in fatal gondolier crash

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The German tourist was killed on August 17th. Photo: HarshLight/Flickr
17:15 CEST+02:00
Five people are being investigated after a gondola crash in Venice left a German man dead and his daughter injured.

Two gondoliers, one who was on drugs, and three waterbus drivers risk manslaughter charges if they are found guilty, Italian media reported on Tuesday.

Joachim Reinhard Vogel, 50, was crushed by a waterbus while on a family gondola ride on August 17th, while his three-year-old daughter was injured. His wife and two other children were also thrown into the water.

Tests found that gondolier Stefano Pizzaggia was under the influence of cocaine and marijuana while driving the family around.

The second gondolier, who has not yet been named, was rowing in the opposite direction when the crash happened. Investigators in Venice are looking into whether his manoeuvres forced Pizzaggia into the waterbus’ path, Nuova Venezia reported.

However, unlike his colleague, the second gondolier’s drug and alcohol tests came back negative, the Italian daily said.

Investigators are also examining the role of the waterbus driver and speaking to two other drivers.

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The accident happened close to Venice’s famous Rialto Bridge at the peak of the tourist season.

As a result, the authorities have been able to gather a huge amount of video and photographic evidence from bystanders to reconstruct the scene, Nuova Venezia said.

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