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Tuva court upholds verdict for driver who ran down 4 teachers

September 21, 2011, 17:58 UTC+3

Vitaly Fefelov, 26, ran over four teachers on a zebra crossing in Kolkhoznaya Street

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GORNO-ALTAISK, September 21 (Itar-Tass) — The Supreme Court of Tuva upheld the verdict for the driver who had fatally run over four teachers in the town of Kyzyl in September 2010, the court's press service told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

The judicial panel of the Supreme Court has left the verdict by the Kyzyl town court unchanged, and has not met the appeal by Fefelov's lawyer, the court's press service said.

Vitaly Fefelov, 26, ran over four teachers on a zebra crossing in Kolkhoznaya Street. The victims were Maria Mandan-Khorluu, Natalia Kuular, Polina Oorzhak and Galina Byzaakai. Police said he had noticed the pedestrians too late.

The tragedy caused a public stir. The republic mourned the fatalities.

On July 12, the Kyzyl court sentenced Fefelov to four years in a penal colony and suspended his driving license for three years after serving the sentence.

The defendant turned at the courtroom to hear the verdict wearing a T-shirt reading "Genuine Man."

The driver exceeded the speed limit and lost control of his vehicle, police said. "Despite traffic and visibility conditions, the driver exceeded the speed limit on that stretch of the road. Also, he failed to yield to the pedestrians walking the zebra crossing," the republic's Interior Ministry said then.

Fefelov is a resident of the suburban village of Kaa-Khem.

Maria Mandan-Khorluu, Natalia Kuular and Galina Byzaakai taught the Tuva language. Polina Oorzhak was a Russian language and literature teacher. All of them had a 25-year record of work. Galina Byzaakai had been awarded the honorary title of outstanding educator.

One of the fatalities - Natalia Kuular - resigned just before the tragedy as her husband got a transfer to another district of the republic. She was walking to school to collect her documents.


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