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Report: Oksana Baiul drunk during car crash

January 14, 1997 GMT

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (AP) _ Oksana Baiul, the wispy Ukranian who skated her way to Olympic fame in 1994, was legally drunk when she ran her Mercedes off the road in an early morning crash, a hospital report shows.

Baiul, who at age 19 is two years under the legal drinking age in Connecticut, had a blood-alcohol level of .168 percent after the accident Sunday, according to the report The Associated Press obtained Monday.

The Olympic gold medalist and a passenger were not seriously injured. Baiul, who was hospitalized overnight, had a cut scalp that required 12 stitches.


Ararat Zakarian, 30, a fellow Ukrainian skater living in New York City, had a broken finger. He returned home hours after the accident.

The legal limit for blood alcohol in Connecticut is .10 percent. Under a new zero-tolerance law, underage people charged with driving under the influence face the automatic suspension of their license if the blood-alcohol level is greater than .02.

The report was filed about 90 minutes after she arrived at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

Police today were seeking a search warrant to obtain the report, said Lt. William Brewer, a police spokesman. No charges had been filed and the investigation was continuing.

Baiul, a native of Ukraine, has lived and trained in Simsbury since 1994. She was a few miles from her home in the Hartford suburb when her green Mercedes skidded more than 100 feet, then veered off the road at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Police confirmed that Baiul was driving but refused further comment. A spokesman for Baiul also declined to comment on the blood-alcohol report.

``I haven’t seen that report or heard about it, so I can’t comment on it,″ said Bob Young, who runs the International Training Center of Connecticut, where Baiul trains.

Baiul should be fully recovered in about two weeks, Young said.

``She’s home, she’s up and around,″ he said. ``... She’s back home and sleeping and feeling better and waiting for her head to heal so she can get back on the ice.″