Bail denied for Guardia Civil officer suspected of causing A-7 pile-up that killed three family members

The detained officer coming out of Torremolinos' court of first instance.
The detained officer coming out of Torremolinos' court of first instance. / Daniel Pérez/EFE
  • The off-duty officer tested positive for alcohol and drugs at the scene as an investigation into twelve separate charges against him begins

. Three people died and several were injured in a serious traffic accident on a heavily-used section of the A-7 near Torremolinos on Wednesday afternoon. One person was killed instantly, and two others died later in the intensive care unit of Malaga’s Carlos Haya hospital. All were from the same family.

After the accident an off-duty Guardia Civil officer, who had been driving one of the vehicles involved, was arrested, and tested positive for alcohol and drug consumption, investigators have said.

The accident happened at about 4.15pm near Torremolinos at kilometre 225, in the direction of Fuengirola, exactly where the A-7 (Malaga outer ring road) converges with the AP-7/MA-20 motorway coming from Malaga city and the airport.

The person who died at the scene of the accident was a 48-year-old woman. Two others, a 27-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, died later in hospital. An 18-year-old girl is still in the intensive care unit; she is conscious and her condition is said to be serious but stable. A mother and daughter were also admitted to hospital with various fractures.

Several vehicles were involved in the collision, including a nine-seater Mercedes Vito people carrier which had collected a family from the main railway station in Malaga and was on its way to Puerto Banús.

A number of people phoned the 112 emergency hotline to report the crash, saying that there were people lying on the ground and at least one of them appeared to be dead.

The first indications are that there was an initial collision between the vehicle being driven by the Guardia Civil officer and another car, which was pushed beneath the Mercedes Vito van, causing it to overturn several times.

The driver of the van escaped with minor injuries, but several passengers were thrown out of the vehicle and their belongings were scattered in the road.

Traffic tailbacks

The accident caused chaos on the nearby road network for hours afterwards. The hard shoulder had to be used as a traffic lane, and, at times, there was a tailback of seven kilometres.

The off-duty Guardia Civil officer was ordered to be held in prison by a court in Torremolinos on Thursday and bail refused.

Tests reportedly registered 0.45 milligrammes of alcohol per litre of expired air and showed that he had taken cocaine.

An investigating judge has begun an inquiry into two charges against road safety, three for reckless homicide and seven for causing injury.

The Guardia Civil has suspended the officer from his post, the government’s representative in Andalucía said.