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13 Jan, 2017 17:51

21yo emergency patient dies in Russia after car blocks road to responding ambulance (VIDEO)

21yo emergency patient dies in Russia after car blocks road to responding ambulance (VIDEO)

A case involving a car blocking the way of an ambulance responding to an emergency call in Russia’s Far East has become a cause célèbre this week, as a video of the incident has surfaced online and authorities launched an investigation into the matter.

The tragedy occurred in the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Region on Tuesday when a local ambulance was rushing to help a 21-year-old man.

The ambulance, signaling with lights and sirens, was blocked by a car occupied by a female driver and a male passenger.

Other cars on the icy road had been abandoned, and the car could have been easily moved to let the ambulance pass – but the couple wouldn’t budge.

Instead, the male passenger, who later turned to be the woman’s husband, stepped out of the vehicle and began arguing with the ambulance crew, according to the video published earlier this week.

The medics are heard asking the couple to move the car so that they could help a dying patient. However, it was clear that the couple had no intention of moving. The man even seemed to threaten the medics.

The ambulance finally reached the patient after 13 minutes, instead of 3, but the medics were too late – the man had already died.

The doctors later said that the man could have been saved if they had arrived earlier.

The story hit the headlines in the Russian media, with many people harshly criticizing the driver. People took to social media to express their anger, calling the man and woman murderers. Their anger grew even fiercer when they learned that the couple had paid only a 500-ruble fine(some $8) for blocking the road.

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A petition launched on change.org has gathered some 30,000 signatures in just one day. 

“This is just a blatant example of how heartless people can be. This should not take place in a normal country, a normal civilized society,” the petition states, calling upon Russia’s Investigative Committee to launch a criminal case against the female driver and her husband.

“In fact, by their actions, they killed the man,” the petition concludes.
Social media users found the couple’s pages on Vkontakte (a Russian analogue of Facebook) and apparently began threatening them. Both husband and wife deleted their pages or made them private soon thereafter.

Activists have also launched several groups on VKontakte calling for justice where they provide information on the case and personal information about the couple.

The woman was identified as Ulyana Lobanova, 30, a member of the city’ election commission, according to social media.

Her husband, 42-year-old Roman Lobanov, is a former police officer who now owns a tourist company. 

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“They should be punished. We got fed up by such ladies and gentlemen on the road,” one man wrote on Vkontakte, while another added: “They caused the death of a man. It’s murder.”

“These people are not humans,” said some angry comments. “They look normal outside, but they are s**t inside,” another comment said.

On Friday, Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal probe.

“We have identified the individual whose car was blocking passage to the ambulance and are planning to establish if the man’s death is linked to this traffic incident,” the committee’s spokesperson said.