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Penza grieves as beginner artist dies in federal highway traffic accident

14:40 | 03.03.2016 | Incidents

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Penza, 3 March 2016. PenzaNews. The teachers and students of the Penza Savitsky Art College are grieving the death of Anastasia Lazareva, 20, in the tragic crash of the minibus and the freight truck on the M5 “Ural” federal highway by Penza.

Penza grieves as beginner artist dies in federal highway traffic accident

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“Anastasia joined the Art College in 2012, with a major in Painting. From her first days of studies, she showed herself to be a talented and passionate person who dedicated all her pursuits to her beloved craft. Anastasia was one of the best students of our college. She received numerous distinguishing certificates from the college board, and her installations, outdoors sketches and paintings are still kept in our funds,” says the message published on the website of the Penza Art College.

Anastasia Lazareva was an active person, successful in studies and civil affairs of the college alike, they point out.

“Anastasia was a kind, bright and emphatic young woman. We grieve over Anastasia’s death, and express our greatest condolences to her friends and relatives,” the message adds.

The young woman will be buried in Ulyanovsk where she was born, they write.

As PenzaNews reported earlier, the emergency services received the report about the tragic accident in the Bessonovka area of the Penza region at 13.10 of Wednesday, March 2, after a Mercedes passenger minibus collided with a MAN freight truck on the M5 “Ural” federal highway, leaving nine dead – all of them passengers of the minibus – and three injured, including a child.

The Penza region Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case under Part 3, Art. 238 of the Criminal Code, “Production, Storage, Carriage or Sale of Goods and Products, Fulfillment of Works or Rendering of Services Which Do Not Meet Safety Standards.”

In addition, the Penza region Ministry of the Interior department also opened a criminal case, this time under Part 5, Art. 264 of the Criminal Code, “Violation of Traffic Rules and Rules for Operation of Transport Vehicles.”

The Ulyanovsk region has created a task force to help the injured, led by the local governor Sergei Morozov, as one of the victims of the accident is a local resident.

The Penza region governor Ivan Belozertsev ordered to provide material aid to the families of the regional citizens that died in the crash, and organize additional checks of transportation companies for drivers involved in numerous speed limit violations.

According to preliminary information, the minibus used summer tires and exceeded the speed limit, which caused the tragedy. The driver, an Ulyanovsk citizen, was driving back home and picking up passengers along his way. He had been fined multiple times for speed limit violations, the experts from Ulyanovsk say.

In the morning of Thursday, March 3, Vladimir Stryuchkov, Minister of Health of the Penza region, reported that the three people – the two drivers and a 4-year-old child – remain in moderately severe condition.

After the tragic accident, the prosecutor’s office of the Ulyanovsk region organized an investigation of the company “Vektor-Argo” that owns the crashed minibus, which will check the measures used by the company to ensure safe passenger transportation. In addition, the officials will conduct an effectiveness audit of regional supervision institutions and the traffic police in the related field.

The driver of the Mercedes minibus has been detained. At the moment, he remains in the hospital under convoy guard due to his injuries, and only police investigators are allowed to visit him.

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