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Italian accused of causing five deaths on a Moray road to stand trial

By Alistair Whitfield

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An Italian man is set to go on trial later this year accused of causing the deaths of his young son and four other people in Moray.

Alfredo Ciociola, who lives in Sicily, was driving a minibus on the A96 near Keith on July 26, 2018, when it was in a collision with a 4x4 vehicle.

Four-year-old Lorenzo Ciociola died in the crash, as did Frances Saliba Patanè (63) who was also a passenger in the minibus.

Three people in the 4x4 were also killed.

They were Audrey Appleby (70) and Evalyn Elrick (69) from Aberchirder and Edward Reid (63) from Macduff.

A provisional trial date was set today for May 24 at the High Court in Aberdeen.

The trial will go ahead then, providing travel restrictions in Italy due to the pandemic allow the 48-year-old defendant to fly to Scotland.

Mr Ciociola is alleged to have fallen asleep at the wheel.

He denies charges of causing the five deaths by dangerous driving.

He also denies causing serious injuries to four other people hurt in the collision.

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