Prime minister hurt in traffic accident

Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis has been injured in a traffic accident in Rīga and will spend about a week in a hospital recovering from a concussion and temporal bone fracture, Latvian media report.

The accident occurred at about 3 p.m. local time June 18 when a minibus and the prime minister’s car collided at the junction of Brīvības and Kalpaka boulevards, not far from the Cabinet of Ministers building in downtown Rīga.

Godmanis was taken to the First Rīga Hospital (Rīgas 1.slimnīca), where officials said the prime minister’s injuries are not life threatening.

The prime minister was on his way to meet with Latvian President Valdis Zatlers. The meeting was scheduled at 2:45 p.m., according to the president’s Web site.

Also in the prime minister’s car, according to the daily newspaper Diena, were his driver, a bodyguard and Chief of Staff Juris Radzevičs. None of them were injured. A woman passenger in the minibus was hurt.

Photographs and video of the accident’s aftermath posted on various media Web sites show the minibus with frontal damage, while the prime minister’s car has damage to its right side.

Godmanis was scheduled to travel in the evening to Brussels to attend a European Council meeting June 19-20. Instead, a spokesperson for the prime minister said, Latvia will be represented by Foreign Minister Māris Riekstiņš.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

2 thoughts on “Prime minister hurt in traffic accident

  1. According to my Latvian friends the distance between A and B can be covered in 7 min by foot. There is no need to take car or break the traffic rules. The second is allegedly what the Latvian high officials do regularly. Guess what is the proposal to avoid such accidents in the future – have two cars driving that miniscule distance. One with the minister inside and the second to warn the traffic that minister’s car is approaching. Ridiculous!

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