Latvian PM injured in car crash

June 18, 2008
RIGA, Latvia (AP) — Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis suffered serious head injuries Wednesday in a road accident in the center of the capital while traveling in a car with a siren on, his office said.

Godmanis was diagnosed with a concussion and a skull fracture in the temple area, press adviser Krists Leiskalns said.

Press spokesman Edgars Vaikulis said Godmanis was in stable condition and conscious, capable of speaking, and signing documents.

Police said a minibus crashed into the side of the prime minister’s Mercedes after it had crossed a busy downtown intersection.

Leiskalns said the driver and two other passengers — a bodyguard and adviser — in the prime minister’s car were not hurt.

The Baltic News Service said there were 17 passengers in the minibus, and one elderly woman passenger was injured.

Photos from the scene show damage to the right rear side of the prime minister’s vehicle.

Godmanis, who was sitting in the back seat, had just left the government building and was on his way to see the president for their weekly meeting when the accident occurred, spokesman Vaikulis, said.

Both the prime minister’s car and an accompanying security vehicle had their sirens on, he said.

Godmanis became prime minister in December.