ON FEBRUARY 7, a very lucky Škoda Fabia driver sustained only minor injuries after colliding with an armoured military vehicle known as the Alligator. The armoured vehicle crashed into the passenger car at 7:45 on one of the busiest roads in Slovakia near Žilina, the Pravda daily wrote. The crash caused a huge traffic jam between Žilina and Martin that lasted over two hours.
The armoured vehicle crashed into the Fabia after one of its rear tires burst, causing the driver to lose control while it spun in the opposite direction.
The vehicle was one of two Alligators on their way back to Trenčín from the military base in Martin for a regular check.
Upon collision, the five-times heavier Alligator climbed over the passenger car, totalling it.
"The passenger car was squashed and it was pure luck that only the driver was inside," Peter Prokša of the Martin fire fighters brigade told the daily. Another driver who saw the accident said that it was a miracle the Fabia driver survived at all.
The soldier driving the Alligator suffered some minor injuries. The Fabia driver ended up with a bruised chest, knee, elbow and neck. Doctors estimated that it would take him two weeks to recover from his injuries.
The military police took over the investigation.
"Probably our military driver is responsible for the accident, but we will wait for the results of the investigation," spokesperson of the Slovak Army Milan Vanga told the daily. "Alcohol has not been detected in either of the drivers."
Even though the Alligator is equipped with a gadget to control air pressure in the tires, it can suffer from a flat tire just like any other truck, said Vanga.
18. Feb 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports