A verdict was reached Friday in the case of the tragic road accident that happened more than three years ago on the Zod bridge in Ararat Province of the Republic of Armenia (RA).

The general jurisdiction court of Artashat city sentenced the defendant, Soghomon Hakobyan, to 6 years and 6 months in prison.

Armenian News-NEWS.am has learned that the court took into account the terms of detention during the investigation and the trial for the final punishment. In other words, Hakobyan will remain in prison for 3 years and 5 months more. He has been in pretrial detention since July 8, 2019, the verdict was handed down on August 4, 2022.

The prosecution had motioned that Hakobyan be sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Tigran Avetisyan, the father of 20-year-old Astghik Avetisyan who died as a result of the aforesaid accident, told us said that the court granted 50 percent of the claim for compensation of the material damages of the injured parties.

The legal successors of the victims are dissatisfied with the court verdict. "The defense delayed the court hearing for about 2 months, on July 1, the RA Criminal Code was changed, so that article was mitigated. If after that terrible incident that person should be sentenced to [just] 6 years in prison, then what can I say" Tigran Avetisyan noted.

On July 6, 2019, a passenger van, a Toyota Hilux, and a VAZ-21063 collided on the aforesaid bridge, which resulted in a fire in the van, and then it spread onto the other two cars.

Toyota Hilux driver Soghomon Hakobyan was charged with violating traffic rules and causing the death of two or more people.

According to the indictment, Hakobyan negligently caused 7 deaths and 4 injuries.