The Malta Independent 18 September 2021, Saturday

Driver of double-decker bus in Zurrieq tragedy tested negative in breathalyser

Friday, 12 March 2021, 13:28 Last update: about 7 months ago

The driver at the wheel of a double-decker bus involved in a fatal accident that happened in Żurrieq three years ago was not driving under the influence of alcohol, a court has been told.

Police Inspector Pierguido Saliba testified on Friday morning, saying that no alcohol was detected in Charles D’Amato’s breathalyser test result.

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D’Amato from Qormi and the company’s four directors Kim Degabriele, 40, Philip Degabriele, 32, Noel Degabriele, 24, all from Luqa, and their sister Lee Anne Borg, 37, from Mellieħa are pleading not guilty to charges of involuntary homicide.

Two passengers died when the open-top sightseeing bus they were on struck a low-lying tree branch in April 2018.

Inspector Saliba told the Court that on the day of the tragedy, he had been informed of an accident which was possibly fatal. Upon his arrival, he found that other officers from the Traffic Section had already closed off the road and had started re-directing traffic.

The police inspector carried out the breathalyser test on Charles D’Amato who he was told was driving the bus. Saliba said that no alcohol was detected.

“The result was negative. Zero,” he said. He also said the man he did the breathalyser test on was the same man who held the licence to drive the bus.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud presided over the court.

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