Gondoliers attend a ceremony in memory of Joachim Reihnard Vogel, in Venice's Grand Canal, 18 August 2013. The fifty-year-old German tourist was killed and his three-year-old daughter seriously injured 17th August when a gondola, carrying them on Venice's Grand Canal, collided with a ferry near the historic city's famous Rialto bridge Photo: dpa / photoalliance
Gondoliers attend a ceremony in memory of Joachim Reihnard Vogel, in Venice's Grand Canal, 18 August 2013. The fifty-year-old German tourist was killed and his three-year-old daughter seriously injured 17th August when a gondola, carrying them on Venice's Grand Canal, collided with a ferry near the historic city's famous Rialto bridge Photo: dpa / photoalliance

Venice, Italy (dpa) – The gondolier involved in last week’s crash with a water ferry that killed a German tourist was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the accident, news reports said Friday.

A law professor from Munich university was crushed to death just before midday August 17 when the gondola he had boarded with his wife and three children was rammed by a public transport ferry near the Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal.

 Italian police officers patrol Venice's Grand Canal after a German tourist was killed and his three-year-old daughter seriously injured when a gondola, carrying them on Venice's Grand Canal, collided with a ferry on 17 August 2013. The man appeared to have been crushed between the two boats near the historic city's famous Rialto Bridge, a spokesman for Venice's fire brigade said. The little girl suffered a head injury and was taken to a hospital in Padua for treatment. EPA/ANDREA MEROLA
Italian police officers patrol Venice’s Grand Canal after a German tourist was killed and his three-year-old daughter seriously injured. EPA/ANDREA MEROLA

Tests performed the same day on the gondolier, 25-year-old Simone Pizzaggia, revealed traces of cocaine in his blood and urine, local newspaper Corriere del Veneto said. He is presumed to have consumed it on the morning of the crash or on the previous night.

Prosecutor Roberto Terzo, who is leading a probe for manslaughter, has placed Pizzaggia under formal investigation. The captain of the water ferry involved in the accident, as well as two others who were steering ferries passing nearby, are also being probed.

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