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24 June, 2024
 
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Driver in double hit and run guilty of manslaughter

Paphos court convicts man on manslaughter charges, first of two cars in fatal accident not identified

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A man who was detained in a double hit and run fatality in December 2021 was found guilty of manslaughter on Wednesday, with Paphos police still unable to locate the first car that struck a local woman unconscious.

(Click here for an update to the story)

Local media said a Paphos criminal court on Wednesday found a 45-year-old man guilty of manslaughter in the death of 60-year-old Androula Papachristoforou, who was fatally wounded as she was trying to cross Priamou street in the Universal area on 19 December 2021.

Papachristoforou was on foot trying to cross a dark road when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle. A security camera recorded the incident, with a video showing the woman being struck by a car and knocked to the ground.

The driver of the vehicle, possibly a Toyota according to officials, failed to stop and reportedly left the scene quickly, while the camera captured a Good Samaritan rushing to the woman’s aid as a second car came and ran over the victim.

Papachristoforou was crossing a dark road when she was struck by a vehicle that failed to stop, while a second car ran her over just as a Good Samaritan was rushing to her aid but was too late

Another edited video from a different camera at the scene showed a white vehicle stopping, with reports saying the driver got out of the car and then he was seen getting back inside.

A man linked to the second vehicle was arrested on charges of vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident, while the state attorney’s office okayed a quick filing of the case in a criminal court.

Media reports said the suspect claimed he had been test driving the car in the previous days but told the court he was not the driver when the incident took place.

The suspect, whose nationality has not been disclosed by authorities, was denied bail but it was not clear why he had been summoned before a judge ahead of his scheduled bail hearing. Police at the time said they had “sufficient evidence to prosecute" the suspect. 

Police also told Knews they had no information or description to share with the public concerning the first vehicle that struck Papachristoforou, but local media said it appeared to have been a Toyota based on a side mirror that was found at the scene of the accident.

According to local reports, only three Toyota car models match the broken side mirror.

A panel of criminal judges convicted the suspect on manslaughter and will meet April 6 to pass sentence.

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