Andriy Nikolayenko, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, acknowledged running over and killing an 18-year-old girl with his car.

“Today, the worst possible thing for a driver happened to me – a person died under the wheels of the car I was driving,” the parliamentarian wrote on his Facebook page, saying he would fully cooperate with the State Bureau of Investigation (DBR), including undergoing examinations.

Before his admission, regional National Police from the Zhytomyr region reported that at around 9:45 a.m. on Friday, a Mercedes-Benz GLE, heading in the direction of the city of Chop on the Kyiv-Chop highway, ran over an 18-year-old girl, who had been on foot.

“The car driven by the people's deputy ran into a pedestrian. The underage girl died at the scene from her injuries,” the DBR's later said, acknowledging the parliamentarian’s involvement.

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“I was sober, and I did not violate any traffic regulations, but the tragedy was unavoidable,” said Nikolayenko, who’s a member of the Batkivshchyna political party, and who is a member of the parliamentary committee on finance, tax, and customs policy.

“A profound tragedy has occurred, one that cannot be reversed or undone,” Nikolayenko wrote. “True despair is when you find yourself unable to influence the situation in any way. My deepest condolences to the family.”

The State Bureau's detectives, deployed to the scene, which was in village of Berezovtsi, are investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident.

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The incident has prompted the consideration of potential criminal charges under Part 2 of Art. 286 of the Criminal Code, which could result in a prison sentence ranging from three to eight years.

At press time, Kyiv Post had not received comments from the Batkivshchyna political party.

In 2008-2009, Nikolayenko served as an assistant-consultant to People's Deputies of Ukraine from the Party of Regions Yuriy Karakai and Serhiy Larin.

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Between 2011 and 2013, he held the position of First Deputy Head of the Kirovohrad Regional State Administration, and subsequently served as the head of this Regional State Administration from Jan. 9, 2013, to March 2, 2014.

From March to September 2014, he assumed the role of the first deputy head of the Donetsk State Administration, overseeing the reconstruction efforts in Sloviansk following its liberation from Russian occupation, along with the restoration of water and electricity supply in the city.

In 2019, he was elected as a People's Deputy of the 9th convocation from the Batkivshchyna party, occupying the 19th position on the list as a non-partisan candidate.

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Comments ( 1)

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As a taxi driver hurting somebody is my worst nightmare. Having driven hundreds of thousands of city miles safely a crash finally happened. Somebody was so committed to their driving error that there was no way I could get far enough out of the way. My car was hit from the side. Physical injuries were only minor bruises. I ruminated about the crash for days. Could I have done anything differently? I did not sleep well for several nights and had to call in 'sick'. For weeks I felt uneasy traveling through similar intersections. This was very minor PTSD. I can't imagine what the People's Deputy is going through. I can't remotely imagine what PTSD is for soldiers after battle. My heartfelt condolences go to the young woman's family and friends. I also feel empathy for the driver.

I was not there. I make no judgements. Good driving is not what many think. Too many turn their driving into adrenaline-filled stress competing with other drivers or just themselves for no apparent reason or gain. Good driving is leaving lots of following distance and always being calm and attentive to things that can go wrong. It is not showing off how good you can drive. It is rarely having to hit the brakes hard because you're leaving room to foresee all that can go wrong and acting so they don't. Sometimes letting aggressive drivers win is the safest way for everybody.

Slava Ukraini. And Peace.

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