NEWS

Driver killed in rally crash

A rally driver was killed and his co-driver seriously injured when their car hit an electricity pole at the opening of an international rally in the Peloponnese on Saturday. Dimitris Kolliopanos, 25, whose father is a ruling PASOK MP and former deputy minister, died instantly in the accident near Patras during one of the stages of the 28th Achaia ELPA (Automobile and Touring Club of Greece) rally. His co-driver, Theofanis Hassiotis, was being nursed with spinal fractures at the hospital in Rio, near Patras. He was out of danger. Kolliopanos’s Toyota Yaris went off the road 3 km (1.8 miles) from the end of Stage 1, crashing into a wooden pole holding a two-ton electric transformer which fell on the car. No other cars were involved, ELPA said. The two-day, all-asphalt rally is part of the European Rally Championships. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas expressed his condolences to the victim’s father, Arta MP Theodoros Kolliopanos, who served as deputy public works minister from 1996-2000.