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Fetisov: Limo driver crashed ‘on purpose’

Feb 4, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Courtesy Detroit’s Channel 4 News, here’s former Red Wings great Slava Fetisov claiming the infamous 1997 limo accident — one that saw Detroit defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team massage therapist Sergei Mnatsakanov suffered debilitating head injuries — wasn’t an accident at all.

The incident occurred less than a week after the Wings won the ’97 Stanley Cup, their first championship in 42 years. The limo Konstantinov, Mnatsakanov and Fetisov were riding in crossed three lanes of traffic, jumped the curb and slammed into a tree.

The driver, Richard Gnida, was operating the vehicle after despite having his license suspended for drunk driving.

Konstantinov, who suffered major cognitive damage in the crash, recently returned to Detroit for the 2014 Winter Classic alumni game, where he and the rest of the “Russian Five” — Konstantinov, Fetisov, Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov and Igor Larionov — were greeted with huge applause from the Red Wings faithful.

  1. howintensive - Feb 4, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    Fans in Detroit still aren’t over that tragedy. Please don’t open this wound up, Slava.

  2. joey4id - Feb 4, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    That was a sad day no doubt in the hockey realm. Why was Gnida behind the wheel? Who hired him? You can see the pain on Fetisov’s face, but unless he has proof he shouldn’t be accusing the driver of purposely crashing. Perhaps his thought process is skewed by years of communism, lies, and cover ups inflicted on the population of Russia by their governments. I’ve been to Moscow, and worked with many who live there. Regardless of how truthful and honest you are with them, they somehow perceive hidden intentions and their first instinct is mistrust, and once they’ve gone there they are like a dog on a bone.

    • mehetmet - Feb 4, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      stereotype much?

      • joey4id - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        You think! Read all my comments and you’ll find your answer. My experiences are real, as well as what I have learned from various books. Do you read much?

        “Russian people often don’t associate themselves and their government. Moreover they don’t usually expect much good from it. But this problem is hard to solve because historical experience, unfortunately, doesn’t completely allow country citizens to trust the government.”

        “And this is why Russia is different: In the U.S., trust or not, there is a belief in the political system, in certain rights. That’s not the case in Russia.” -NPR

        Perhaps you wish to educate yourself.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        there are truths rooted in stereotypes, they exist for a reason. i deal with people from all walks of life all the time at work. i will tell you from over 10 years of professional experience dealing with clients that probably around 80% of the time people will fit some sort of racial, geographical, gender, or economic stereotype. i dont judge them but its reality and you cant tell me otherwise. i would be a liar if i told you i pitched and sold them all the same way every time too. i personally cant ignore real life observations, and dont blame joey for sharing his either. stereotypes are real but like with anything… there are always exceptions.

      • storminator16 - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:45 PM

        In joey’s defense, I know Russians. They look at stuff differently, man.

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      he has every right to accuse Gnida, with or without proof. The guy was an eyewitness to the accident! his testimony in a court of law would be given considerable weight, much more than some person sitting behind a computer telling a guy who lost a friend and teammate to cognitive brain damage. Though Konstantinov survived, the guy is not the same person.

      any one of those guys in the limo has all the right in the world to accuse Gnida.

      • joey4id - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:15 AM

        Do you not think he had the opportunity to testify in a court of law at Gnida’s trial? And of course his testimony was so damning that Gnida got 9 months. So much for the expert eye witness you pretend him to be.

  3. nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    How different might the results of that tragic episode have been had all the passengers been wearing seat belts?

    • nicknyhc - Feb 4, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      OK Mom thanks for your input.

      • timmmah10 - Feb 6, 2014 at 8:56 AM

        I’ve been toted around in many limos, however I’ve yet to encounter a limo with seat belts… But thanks for chiming in. I bet your kid walks around the house with a helmet and wrist guards on at all times…

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