A horrific side-impact crash involving a car driven by a KHL hockey player has left two people fighting for their lives in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk.
A white SUV driven by Maxim Yakutsenya, a forward for local team Traktor, smashed into the driver's door of a smaller Lada car at a crossroads in the city on Friday night.
The driver of the Lada and a passenger are both in comas. Yakutsenya was unhurt. Local authorities and the club have confirmed these details.
"First of all, we want to wish a quick recovery to those who suffered, who are enthusiastic Traktor fans and have taken part in lots of events organized by the club," the team said on its website.
Video footage of the collision has been circulated on Russian news websites.
Traktor urged viewers to wait for the results of the official investigation before deciding who is to blame.
"Many people have already given Maxim Yakutsenya the tag of 'enemy' and the player has been made the culprit in the accident even before the video brought it to light," the statement said. "The competent organs will get to the bottom of who is right and who is wrong, that is why jumping to conclusions is simply unacceptable."
Yakutsenya, 31, has played for Traktor since 2011, and before that represented Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, Avangard Omsk, and CSKA Moscow, among other teams.
He has racked up 54 goals in 240 appearances in the KHL.