Drunk driver slams into column of cadets, killing 6

A drunken driver slammed into a group of Russian paratrooper cadets marching along a road southeast of Moscow, killing six and injuring 19, a military official said Sunday.

The incident occurred Saturday night near the town of Ryazan, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) southeast of Moscow, Col. Alexander Cherednik, a spokesman for Russia's paratrooper forces, said in a statement, the AP reports.

The car slammed into the column of cadets at nearly 100 kilometers an hour (60 mph) before leaving the road, he said. Two cadets died on the spot; four others died en route to or at the hospital.

Police detained the driver of the car and five passengers as they tried to flee, Cherednik said, adding they were all drunk. A regional police official said in televised comments that the driver also did not have a license.

Fatal road accidents are frequent in Russia, where many drivers do not observe the rules, few wear seat belts and roads are often poorly lit and poorly maintained, especially in the provinces. Alcohol abuse among drivers is frequent.