Eight cyclists on early morning ride are killed by drug-driver in horror crash in ItalyBy Nick Pisa
Last updated at 4:31 PM on 5th December 2010
Eight cyclists were killed today after a car ploughed into them at high speed after losing control on an Italian road.
The driver, who was also injured in the incident and had to be cut free from the mangled wreckage of his Mercedes car, later tested positive for cannabis, police said.
In addition, the Moroccan man's license had been taken from him seven months ago for dangerous driving.
Horror: Eight cyclists were killed after a car ploughed into them near Lamezia Terme in Italy
EnlargeThree cyclists were airlifted from the scene in a critical condition and graphic TV pictures showed the scene of carnage as bodies lay covered with white sheets amid the twisted frames of racing bikes.
The driver of the Mercedes was injured and had to be cut out of his car. He was later arrested, and police said that he lost his license seven months ago for dangerous driving
The tragedy happened at Marinella a Sant'Eufemia near Lamezia Terme in the south of Italy as the group, all members of a cycling club, were out on a Sunday morning ride.
Police said the driver of the car was facing charges of multiple culpable murder and that his ten-year -old son who was in the car with him at the time was also slightly hurt.
A police spokesman said the cyclists were killed after the driver, who was above the speed limit, tried to overtake the group and lost control and ploughed into the all male group who were all local.
The Mercedes crashed into the cyclists and left them strewn over the road in Marinella a Sant'Eufemia near Lamezia Terme in the south of Italy
Seven of the cyclists were declared dead at the scene while another died as he was airlifted to hospital by helicopter, while a fleet of ambulances were also called to take the dead and injured away.
Police said it was the worst multiple victim incident they had dealt with in years and added that at the time of the crash the road surface had been dry and the weather sunny.
Paramedic Silvio Rocca, who was one of the first on the scene, said: 'What we found when we got there was unbelievable - not even a bomb could have caused the devastation we saw.
'The first report we had was of one cyclist involved in a road accident but when got to the scene there were bodies everywhere - it was a massacre and it was made worse because we knew many of those involved.'
This afternoon four cyclists were in a serious condition in local hospitals.
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