Car Plows Into German Tourists in Italy, Killing 6 and Injuring 11

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ROME — A car plowed into a group of young German tourists as they crossed a road in northern Italy after getting off a bus to reach their hotels early on Sunday, killing six people and injuring 11 others, four seriously, Italian officials said.

The driver, a 27-year old man from the area, failed a breath-alcohol test at the site, the Italian police said. The man, identified by the police by his initials, SL, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, local reports said.

The crash occurred around 1:15 a.m. in the mountain village of Lutago, a hamlet in the municipality of Valle Aurina in the South Tyrol region, close to the Austrian border, as the Germans were crossing a state road, a spokesman for the military police in the area said.

The spokesman described the facts as “simple in their cruelty.”

Six people died on impact, according to Lt. Col. Alessandro Coassin of the Bolzano carabinieri, the military police investigating the accident. He said four others were transferred to hospitals in “very serious” condition. Two others were taken to a hospital in Innsbruck, one was assigned to a hospital in Bolzano, and one to a hospital in Brunico.

Seven others, including a local woman, were being treated at various hospitals for multiple injuries. “There were dozens of ambulances and rescue vehicles, including helicopters, on the scene,” he said.

The driver pulled over after the accident and “didn’t run away,” Lieutenant Coassin said. He was taken to a hospital where other tests could be conducted. The lieutenant said his blood-alcohol content was “considerably higher than the legal limit.”

He declined to identify the make of the car the man had been driving, saying “in these small valleys, every knows who drives certain cars.”

The German Consulate in Milan was assisting local officials to contact the families of the victims, who were “between 19 and 21” of age, he said. He added that some but not all the victims had been identified.

South Tyrol, or Alto Adige — a largely German-speaking autonomous region of northern Italy with ski resorts in the Dolomites mountain range and quaint villages around Bolzano — is popular with German tourists.

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