The Malta Independent 16 April 2024, Tuesday
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Tragic 2022: The deadliest year for road fatalities

Semira Abbas Shalan Sunday, 1 January 2023, 08:00 Last update: about 2 years ago

2022 has been the deadliest year on record for road fatalities in Malta, with 26 road deaths.

Road traffic accident statistics show that the record number of road fatalities in 2022 is equivalent to a road death occurring every two weeks.

In fact, there were more traffic accident fatalities in the first four months of the last year than for the whole of 2021, with 12 traffic fatalities being recorded between January and April 2022, compared to 2021’s nine fatalities.

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In 2020, 12 people had died on the road, while 16 had died in 2019. The deadliest year had been 2016, when 22 people had died.

Malta continues to face massive safety and road traffic concerns as the number of deaths and injuries are on the rise.

Road safety organisations have continuously appealed for measures to be implemented to address the rising number of deaths.

In the recent 2023 Budget, the government had only one small section in the document which addressed traffic in Maltese roads, where it suggested that certain unspecified ‘services’ should not be provided before 9am. This measure is in an attempt to decrease the number of vehicles on the road at rush hour; but nothing has been heard about this since the budget was presented in October.

With road accidents on an alarming rise, the government is now planning to set up a Transport Safety Commission which will be tasked with investigating fatal road accidents, while fines related to traffic contraventions are also set to rise.

The proposed commission would encompass three bureaus - one dealing with air safety, another with maritime safety, and a third with road safety - and function under the remit of the Transport Ministry. 

The role of the proposed commission will be to investigate accidents and come up with recommendations for the authorities. 

Here is a timeline tribute for all those who lost their lives on Malta’s roads in 2022:

1 January: 80-year-old woman hit by a car in Hamrun

An 80-year-old woman from Hamrun was hit by a car in Triq Giovanni Barbara. The Peugeot 208 was being driven by a 46-year-old man from Santa Venera. The victim was hospitalised but later died due to her injuries.

4 January: Puttinu Cares President and paediatric oncologist, Victor Calvagna, hit by a car in Qawra

The much-loved Victor Calvagna, aged 63, known for his work as President of Puttinu Cares, was hit by a car while jogging in Qawra in late December 2021. He passed away on 4 January after spending some days in hospital.

2 February: Motorcyclist Steven Sargent hit by truck in Gudja

Steven Sargent lost his life following a traffic accident in Triq Hal Tarxien. Sargent was involved in a collision with a van, which was being driven by a 62-year-old man. Sargent was a father of one and a senior manager at GO Telecommunications company.

16 February: 28-year-old Nepali food courier, hit by a lorry carrying scrap metal in Marsa

28-year-old Nepali food courier Ajay Shrestha was working as a Bolt food courier when a truck hit a pole which fell onto the biker in Aldo Moro Road in Marsa.

The truck was being driven by a 56-year-old resident of Cospicua. The driver lost control, hit the centre strip of the road and the vehicle turned over on the other side of the road.

Shrestha, a former cricket player and coach, had come to Malta to find a better future for himself.

26 February: 50-year-old James Buttigieg hit by a car in Mriehel

A highly respected worker in the Commercial Banking Department at APS Bank, 50-year-old James Buttigieg from Balzan, a father of two, was walking along Mdina Road when he was hit by a Toyota Vitz being driven by a 34-year-old woman.

5 March: 20-year-old Robert Azzopardi dies three days after crashing into a tree in Bahrija

20-year-old Robert Azzopardi died three days after he lost control of his vehicle while driving in Triq Bieb ir-Ruwa in Bahrija, limits of Rabat.

The supporter group of his former football club Rabat Ajax sent messages of support while he was fighting for his life.

7 March: 38-year-old Bulgarian food courier, Yani Kuzmanov

38-year-old Bulgarian food courier, Yani Kuzmanov, died following a collision with a pickup truck in Triq il-President Anton Buttigieg in Zejtun.

He was rushed to hospital for treatment but passed away due to his injuries.

11 March: 66-year-old Joe Camilleri dies after accident in Rabat

Horse sulky driver Joe Camilleri was driving his sulky along the road in Rabat with another 64-year-old man when it was involved in a collision with a Skoda Yeti driven by a 49-year-old woman.

Camilleri was given first aid, however he was declared dead at Mater Dei later on.

15 March: 28-year-old Andrea Alamango dies in motorcycle accident in Gzira

28-year-old Andrea Alamango died in hospital after a collision with another motorbike in Triq Mikiel Anton Vassalli, Gzira.

Both motorcyclists were flung off their motorbikes upon impact, with the other driver sustaining light injuries.

3 April: 75-year-old woman dies after being caught underneath her own car

A 75-year-old woman resident in Sliema died after her car moved forward after she had just parked in St Publius Street. The woman ended up being caught underneath her car.

10 April: Eritrean man dies after getting run over by a car in Marsa

A 31-year-old Eritrean man lost his life due to his injuries sustained in a traffic accident.

The man who lived in Hal Far, was run over by a car driven by a 32-year-old Zejtun resident in Triq Dicembru 13 in Marsa on 4 April.

19 April: 24-year-old Sudanese man run over in Marsa

A 24-year-old Sudanese man living in Birzebbuga died after he was hit by a Land Rover, also on Triq Dicembru 13 in Marsa.

5 May: 35-year-old French man dies after colliding with a crash barrier on the Coast Road

A 35-year-old man of French nationality residing in Sliema died after losing control of his motorcycle, and crashing into a crash barrier on the Coast Road.

He was caught between the barrier whilst his bike spun out of control and skidded along the road for several metres before eventually hitting trees on the opposite side.

24 May: 63-year-old motorcyclist dies in collision in Xewkija

A 63-year-old motorcyclist died following a road traffic accident in Xewkija a week prior.

The accident, which took place on 17 May, involved a collision between the motorcycle and a car driven by a 66-year-old man resident in Sannat.

5 August: 51-year-old Antoine Degabriele killed in hit and run in Zejtun

51-year-old Antoine Degabriele from Zejtun was found dead after a hit-and-run in Triq Anton Buttigieg in Zejtun.

The death shocked his hometown community, with tributes flooding in on social media from friends.

Dean Donovan Frendo has since been charged with killing Degabriele, driving over the speed limit, tampering with evidence and driving a vehicle without insurance or a licence.

Donovan was located by police after CCTV footage of the accident helped identify his vehicle, a Mazda Demio, and after police were alerted by an anonymous tip.

21 August: 29-year-old Eritrean man dies after being run over in Marsa

A 29-year-old Eritrean man died after being run over along Triq Diċembru 13 in Marsa. The driver of the vehicle was a 24-year-old man from Qormi. 

24 August: 23-year-old Kristina Zivanovic dies after being hit by a bus in Birkirkara

23-year-old Kristina Zivanovic, of Serbian nationality, was run over by a bus on her way home from work in Triq Notabile in Birkirkara.

Members of the Serbian community in Malta had paid tribute to her by lighting candles at the place where she died.

8 September: 87-year-old man dies after being run over by a motorcycle in Paola

An 87-year-old man from Paola died from injuries after being run over by a motorcycle in Paola the day prior, 7 September.

He was hit by a Honda motorcycle being driven by a 54-year-old from Senglea.

12 September: 62-year-old man dies after being run over by a motorcycle in Gozo

A 62-year-old male from Fontana, Gozo, died due to injuries sustained after being run over by a motorcycle in Rabat Gozo.

The incident occurred on 6 September in Republic Street in Rabat, with the man being run over by a motorbike driven by a 38-year-old man from Qala.

28 September: 21-year-old Ben Laferla dies after underage driver crashes into a wall in Swieqi

21-year-old Ben Laferla died a few days after a car crash in Swieqi, which happened on 24 September in Triq il-Madliena in Swieqi.

Laferla was the passenger in the GoTo vehicle, which was being driven by a 17-year-old underage female driver, who lost control of the vehicle which crashed into a wall.

14 October: 72-year-old woman dies after being run over by motorbike in Birkirkara

A 72-year-old woman from Naxxar died after she was run over by a motorcycle in Triq il-Wied, Birkirkara.

She was run over by a Honda motorcycle which was being driven by a 22-year-old man from Mosta.

22 October: 45-year-old Marie Claire Lombardi dies after losing control of motorcycle in Rabat

45-year-old Marie Claire Lombardi from Mgarr died after having lost control of the Yamaha motorcycle she was riding and fell in Triq l-Imdina, Rabat.

A medical team had rushed her to Mater Dei Hospital, but she was certified dead shortly after.

Police later confirmed that Lombardi skidded to her death on ‘slippery material’ on the road and sought public’s help to identify person who could have spilt it.

24 October: 24-year-old Jesus Reina dies after being run over in Marsa

24-year-old Jesus Reina, of Venezuelan nationality, died after he was run over on Triq Dicembru 13, Marsa. Reina worked as a chef.

He became the third pedestrian to die on what was described as the deadliest road of 2022.

He was hit by a Mercedes Benz C250 that was being driven by a 66-year-old man from Fgura. The victim had just disembarked from a bus.

25 October: 69-year-old Anthony Bongailas dies after being run over by van in Zejtun

69-year-old Anthony Bongailas from Zejtun died after being run over in Triq id-Dahla ta San Tumas, Zejtun.

Bongailas was hit by an Isuzu Elf truck being driven by another Zejtun resident, a 62-year-old man. Bongailas was taken to hospital for treatment but later died due to his injuries.

10 November: 32-year-old Macedonian motorcyclist dies after crash in Sliema

A 32-year-old man of Macedonian origin died after his motorcycle was involved in a crash with an Isuzu D-Max being driven by a 29-year-old Syrian man living in Marsascala.

The accident happened in Tower Road, Sliema, and the biker was taken to hospital by a medical team, where he died sometime later.

1 December: 79-year-old man dies after car crash in Ghajnsielem

A 79-year-old man from Ghajnsielem died after losing control of his vehicle, a Peugeot 206, and collided with a Mitsubishi L200 and a Mazda Demio, which were both parked.

The accident happened in Triq l-Ixprunara, Ghajnsielem, Gozo. The man was taken to hospital by ambulance; however, he was certified dead shortly after.

 

 

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