Traffic cop killed in freak crash

A traffic policewoman died on Saturday in a freak highway accident in the Peloponnese after being run over by a motorist while trying to divert traffic from the scene of a crash. Maria Liona, a 45-year-old mother of two, was killed instantly after being hit by a car driven by teacher Artemisia Papaconstantinopoulou, 35, on a stretch of the Athens-to-Patras national road, near Arachovitika, some 17 kilometers out of the northwestern Peloponnesian town. Liona had been in a police car patrolling the highway which, just before noon, came across a crash involving two cars on the Patras-bound lane. Liona and her colleague, Aristidis Kaliakoudas, stopped in the breakdown lane and laid out warning cones for 250 meters behind the scene of the accident. While Kaliakoudas interviewed the two drivers – who were unhurt – Liona stayed behind to move on oncoming traffic. It was there that she was killed. Papaconstantinopoulou told police she lost control of her car after another vehicle drew close to her, and was unable to avoid the traffic policewoman.