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Taxi driver whose negligence resulted in the death of a "Chetverta Vlada" cameraman sentenced to five years in prison

28.12.2023, 15:03
Taxi driver Eduard Holyukh taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs. Photo by Hanna Kalaur
Taxi driver Eduard Holyukh taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs. Photo by Hanna Kalaur

Taxi driver Eduard Holyukh, whose negligence resulted in a deadly car accident which killed the "Chetverta Vlada" cameraman Valeriy Martyniuk and injured the journalist Hanna Kalaur, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The ruling was announced by the court today, reports the IMI representative in the Rivne oblast, Hanna Kalaur, who is a victim in the case.

On June 1, 2018, Eduard Holyukh was driving a car carrying the "Chetverta Vlada" filming crew: journalist Hanna Kalaur and cameraman Valeriy Martyniuk. The journalists took a taxi to go on an editorial assignment – to film a story on the city's outskirts. Some of the filming was done from inside the car.

On the way back, the taxi driver violated the traffic rules by making a U-turn from the right lane and crossing a double continuous lane despite the bus driving behind. The car and the bus crashed into each other. Valeriy Martyniuk recorded the traffic rules violation on video, which was a key piece of evidence in the case.

The taxi car after the collision with the bus. Photo by the Rivne Oblast Police.

Valeriy Martyniuk died in the hospital on June 2, 2018, from the multiple injuries he suffered in the car accident. He is survived by his wife and three underage children. Journalist Hanna Kalaur received moderate injuries.

The cameraman Valeriy Martyniuk died on June 2 due to the taxi driver's negligence, aged 30. Photo by Volodymyr Torbich

Today, December 28, the Rivne City Court judge Oksana Kryzhova announced the ruling in the case; the trial had lasted five years.

"Eduard Kostyantynovych Holyukh was found guilty of committing a crime outlined in Part 2 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, and is sentenced to imprisonment for a term of five years with deprivation of the right to drive vehicles for a term of three years. As a measure of restraint, E.K. Holyukh is to be detained and taken into custody in the courtroom," said the ruling read in the courtroom by Oksana Kryzhova.

The court also partially sided with the victims (Valeriy Martyniuk's father, the cameraman's wife Oksana Martyniuk, and the journalist Hanna Kalaur) in their civil lawsuits.

Eduard Holyukh was taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs. Over the course of five years, he initially tried to prove that he was innocent, and later that he was guilty in part because, in his opinion, the collision was caused by the bus driver speeding.

In the five years of the trial, hearings were repeatedly postponed, prosecutors were replaced, additional interrogations were conducted, and the accused changed his lawyer. Eduard Holyukh made no attempt to apologize to the victims before the summer of 2023.

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