The driver of an open-top double-decker bus and four directors of a company that operates sightseeing tours will on Friday be charged over the accident that killed two tourists and injured another 21 in Żurrieq in April 2018.

Charles D’Amato, 27, from Qormi, was driving the bus when it hit low-lying tree branches in Valletta Road at 4.15pm on April 9.

Two tourists sitting on the upper deck were struck. Belgian national Kaenraad Richard De Vrieze, 62 and a Spanish woman, Elisaveta Danielova Avdala, 37, died on the spot.

Eight of the passengers were seriously hurt while another 13 suffered slight injuries. The bus ride was operated by City Sightseeing Malta Limited, a family-run business.

The driver and the company’s four directors, brothers Kim Degabriele, 40, Philip Degabriele, 32, Noel Degabriele, 24, all from Luqa, and their sister Lee Anne Borg, 37, from Mellieħa, will be charged with the involuntary homicide of the two tourists and causing injuries to 21 other passengers.

They will also be accused of damaging the open-top bus.

The double decker after the accident.The double decker after the accident.

D’Amato also will be charged with dangerous and negligent driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and with failing to safeguard his own health and safety.

The directors will be charged with failing to ensure the health and safety of the passengers on the bus, failing to provide proper training to prevent workplace incidents and with failing to inform JobsPlus about the driver’s employment.

The five will appear before Magistrate Joe Mifsud on Friday after police inspector Janetta Grixti filed the charges last month, nearly three years after the fatal accident.

The inquiry was led by Magistrate Monica Vella.  

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us