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8 cyclists struck, killed by car in Italy

Associated Press / December 6, 2010

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ROME — A speeding car plowed head-on into a group of cyclists in southern Italy yesterday morning, killing eight of them, officials said. The driver had been smoking marijuana, police said.

Bent, mangled bikes were strewn about the scene, and sheet-draped corpses dotted the two-lane road near Lamezia Terme, in the southern region of Calabria.

In addition to the eight cyclists killed, four people were injured: two cyclists and the driver and a young boy in the car with him, said Maria Dolores Rucci, commander of the road police in nearby Catanzaro.

The ANSA news agency said the driver, who was slightly hurt, was arrested on charges of multiple homicide. A police spokesman who declined to give his name said the man had tested positive for marijuana.

A preliminary investigation showed the speeding car ran headfirst into the group of 10 cyclists riding in the opposite direction on state road 18, according to Italy’s highway authority.

ANSA said the driver was trying to pass another car when he hit the group.

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