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.
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.