Snowplow driver and four others detained after fatal 'Total' plane crash

Total CEO Christophe de Margerie was killed in the accident.

Riding in a mid-sized corporate jet known as the Falcon 50, Total CEO Christophe de Margerie lost his life when it struck a snowplow while still on the runway at the Vnukovo airport in Moscow, early Tuesday.

Total and Christophe de Margerie were closely aligned in Formula One with Renault-powered teams Red Bull and Lotus. They also had close ties to French driver Romain Grosjean. Three other individuals perished in the accident.

Now, five people have been detained by the Russian authorities, including the snowplow driver (Vladimir Martynenko), as they investigate the accident.

Preliminary examination shows snowplow driver was intoxicated

"Investigators believe the detained persons failed to provide safety requirements concerning flights and on-ground works and it led to the tragedy," a statement read. Following the fatal crash, the Moscow airport's Director General Andrei Dyakov and Deputy Director General Sergei Solntsev have resigned from their positions.

A preliminary medical examination revealed that Mr. Martynenko may have been intoxicated at the time of the collision, which he denies. The final results will not be released for another week or so.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Romain Grosjean
Article type Breaking news