German Driver Kills Pedestrians

A German man who works as a teacher at the German Embassy's school struck and killed two pedestrians at a Moscow crosswalk after he failed to stop for them while driving a luxury sports utility vehicle, city police said Monday.

The fatal accident happened early Sunday morning, when the Porsche Cayenne driven by the German hit the two young men as they were crossing Prospekt Vernadskogo in southwestern Moscow, police spokesman Vladimir Korobkov said.

The victims, aged 17 and 19, died at the scene from their injuries, Korobkov said. "The driver was going very fast and could not stop the car in time," he said.

The driver has cooperated with police and did not attempt to flee the scene of the accident, Korobkov said, adding that it was unclear if the driver was drunk at the time. "This is being investigated now," he said.

A German Embassy spokesman confirmed the incident but refused to give any details. "A fatal accident happened Sunday involving a staff member of the German School," he said.

The spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with embassy policy, refused to say whether the driver had diplomatic status.

News agencies reported that the SUV had red diplomatic license plates, though red plates do not alone grant drivers diplomatic immunity.

The German School, with more than 450 students, is located in a gated community on Prospekt Vernadskogo and has official status as an embassy school. It was unclear, however, whether any of its German staff qualify for diplomatic immunity.

In 1998, the U.S. consul general in Vladivostok, Douglas Kent, crashed his car into a taxi, seriously injuring a passenger. The victim, Alexander Kashin, was paralyzed in the accident and has unsuccessfully filed civil suits in U.S. courts seeking $9 million in compensation.

In October, the pro-Kremlin youth group Young Russia staged a protest in front of the U.S. Embassy, chanting anti-American slogans and demanding Kent face a criminal trial.