Trolley bus victim’s parents sue ticket inspector, driver

The family of Thanassis Kanaoutis, the 19-year-old student who fell to his death from a trolley bus last Tuesday after being caught without a ticket, on Monday sued the driver and ticket inspector who had been on the vehicle serving the No 12 route for manslaughter with possible malice.

The family has reportedly hired as a technical adviser one of the members of an expert committee who examined the doors of the trolley bus through which Kanaoutis fell. The committee’s report concluded the 19-year-old caught his leg in the closing doors as he had been jumping out of the trolley bus, causing the fatal fall. According to a coroner, however, the injuries on the young man’s neck and arm suggest that the ticket inspector had tried to restrain the 19-year-old, not push him off the trolley bus, as some witnesses have suggested.

As Transport Ministry officials met to discuss a review of inspection and safety procedures on Monday, a protest rally organized by the “I Won’t Pay” movement was held outside the ministry offices.

A large protest held last Friday following Kanaoutis’s funeral in Peristeri, western Athens, turned violent, leading police to temporarily detain nine youths. A similar protest held in Thessaloniki led to the arrest of 13 people who have been charged with damaging public property after vandalizing buses and bus stop shelters. The 13 on Monday faced a misdemeanors council, which postponed their trial until August 27.