Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
Four champion fighters have died in Russia when their car crashed into a cement truck on their way home from a competition.
Tabriz Ismailov, a Russian kickboxing champion, Amanat Khamzin, fighter in several disciplines and a well known wrestling coach, Viktor Kostyuk, a champion in hand-to-hand combat, a Soviet-era martial art, and his brother Valery, also a hand-to-hand combat champion, all died in the crash.
The white Toyota Camry they were travelling in reportedly crashed into a cement truck on the motorway near the city of Volgograd at around 7.40am on 30th August.
Three died on the spot while the fourth passed away the next day in hospital. Meanwhile, the 57-year-old cement truck driver is being treated in hospital. It is unclear what his current condition is.
The four Russian sportsmen were returning from the city of Tver where they had taken part in an All-Russian tournament dedicated to the memory of Olympic judo champion Serhiy Novikov. The Volgograd team took first place in the tournament.
The Toyota was reportedly being driven by Viktor Kostyuk, 31, when the accident took place. The ages of the three other athletes were 26, 25, and 24.
According to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Volgograd region, the Toyota owner had received 53 road penalties since April last year, mostly for speeding.
However, one of Kostyuk’s friends explained: “Victor rented cars for a taxi business and several were registered in his name. The fines in his name are not his, maybe just a few if any.
“He was not a reckless driver, on the contrary, he was a very kind and nice person.”
A police investigation into the crash is ongoing.