Prague – The court sentenced the driver Jitka Rudovičová to 13 years in prison, who in a drunken state swept away a police car on the Prague highway, killing one of the policemen and injuring two others. At the same time, he prohibited her from driving motor vehicles for the maximum possible period of time – i.e. for ten years. Today’s verdict, which found the woman guilty of public endangerment, is not final.
“She was an experienced driver. She was very well aware of what she was doing when she got into the vehicle. Every young child knows that one must not get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol,” Vlasta Langhamerová, president of the Senate of the Prague Municipal Court, said to the 41-year-old Rudovičová. . “She did not show a definite and clear self-reflection of her actions and the consequences she caused with her behavior. It was never heard honestly, from the bottom of the defendant’s soul, that she is aware of how much she affected the lives of three people and, absolutely irreversibly, the lives of their families.” emphasized the judge.
On the evening of July 5, 2020, Rudovičová got behind the wheel of her Mercedes after getting drunk after an argument with her husband. First, in Vyšehrad, she drove onto the sidewalk and crashed into one of the parked cars. She then took to the street on May 5 and endangered a total of 18 people in 12 cars at a speed of 190 to 241 kilometers per hour. She zigzagged, slowing down and speeding up for no reason, moving in two lanes at the same time most of the time and passing other cars, including a car with three children.
In the end, Rudovičová crashed into the service car of the Moravian-Silesian policemen who were returning home from the capital. According to the verdict, she was driving at a speed of 199 kilometers per hour at the time of the collision, in a section where the speed limit was 80 km/h.
A thirty-one-year-old policeman who was sitting in the back seat died in the collision. Two other crew members – a man and a woman – ended up in hospital. The driver of the car subsequently underwent repeated surgery for a shattered hip, is still in pain, walks on crutches and lost his job. The policewoman from the passenger seat still suffers from psychological problems after the accident. “The police vehicle was driving completely according to the rules. It had absolutely no chance to do anything else to prevent the situation,” said the judge. She called the defense’s speculation that the police officer was lying in the back seat or was not wearing a seatbelt complete nonsense.
The mother of two minor children, Rudovičová, breathed over two per million after the accident. According to experts, there were also traces of cocaine in her body. She stated in court that she does not remember most of what happened. She described drinking wine and vodka at the pool on the day of the accident because her husband was flirting with another woman. According to her statement, the man hit her during the ensuing conflict, so she changed clothes and left after returning home.
The policeman who died in the accident was shortly before his wedding. In memoriam he was promoted to the rank of ensign. The family of the deceased and his injured colleagues are demanding a total of roughly three million crowns from Rudovičová as compensation. The woman has already paid them part of the money, she has also paid the claims of the insurance companies. The court has now awarded another part of the compensation to the applicants.
The public prosecutor’s office originally charged Rudovičová with negligent homicide, negligent grievous bodily harm and endangerment under the influence of a drug, for which she would face a maximum of eight years in prison. However, the district court came to the conclusion based on an expert opinion that the woman’s behavior could be qualified more strictly – as a general threat with a sentence of eight to 15 years. Therefore, the city court took over the case. The public prosecutor suggested for the driver a penalty at the lower limit of the rate and an eight-year driving ban. But the judge said that such a sentence would be disproportionately lenient given the consequences of the crime. She identified Rudovičová’s previous clean criminal record as the only mitigating circumstance.
police court accident Prague death