Two Russian crews – a men’s and a women’s team – collided on their bobsleighs during a tournament in Germany’s Konigssee. A Russian athlete was severely injured in the accident.
The drama took place during the ride of the women’s team. The crew of two women – Nadezhda Filina and Irina Skvortsova – started the ride before the permissive signal was given. The girls could not handle the sleigh well, and it tipped over in the luge. The men’s team – Yevgeny Pashkov and Andrey Matyushko - started their ride at that moment. The men’s sleigh rammed into the tipped sleigh.
All the four athletes were severely injured in the accident, but Irina Skvortsova’s injuries were most serious. She was on the back seat of the racing vehicle, when the men’s sleigh slammed into it at full speed, RIA Novosti said.
A bobsleigh can reach the speed of 135-140 km/h on an ice track. Skvortsova suffered numerous traumas and had spine, legs and pelvis fractures.
The athlete was hospitalized to the emergency unit of the hospital in Taumstein. Irina was operated on and put into an artificial coma to have her brain protected against swelling. Doctors said that the life of the 21-year-old athlete was out of danger, but she would most likely have to forget her career in sports.
The German police are investigating the accident. The federation of bobsleigh in Russia hired a lawyer to defend the interests of the injured Russian athletes at court. The vice president of the federation, Vladimir Myslev, believes that the accident occurred because of the fault of the referee, who allowed the women’s team start the ride without the permissive signal.