Pashinian on Wednesday remained silent about the incident that caused uproar on social media. He issued no statements offering his condolences to the family of the 28-year-old woman, Sona Mnatsakanian.
The Armenian police confirmed shortly after the unprecedented accident that the car which ran over Mnatsakanian was driven by one of their officers. He was arrested later on Tuesday.
A separate statement released by the Investigative Committee said that the officer did not stop to help the victim and came back to the scene of the accident only two hours later.
Maria Karapetian, a lawmaker from the ruling Civil Contract party, essentially confirmed that the police vehicle was part of the motorcade carrying Pashinian. She told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that the prime minister was on his way to a meeting with her and other pro-government parliamentarians.
Karapetian said that the meeting was cut short after news of the pedestrian’s death was reported by a Yerevan hospital. “In those circumstances it was very hard to continue talking about the agenda for which we gathered,” she said.
The accident was caught on street cameras, according to some media outlets. Videos circulated by them showed that the young woman was struck by a police SUV while crossing a street in downtown Yerevan. The cars carrying Pashinian and his bodyguards drove past her moments later.
Samvel Martirosian, a prominent Armenian blogger, witnessed the moment when the motorcade emerged from Pashinian’s private residence located several hundred meters away. He said that traffic police officers acted “wildly” as the vehicles moved to the scene of the fatal accident.
“They yelled hysterically and nearly hit other cars while trying to force them to … clear the way,” said Martirosian.
Pashinian famously boasted in May 2019 that unlike Armenia’s former leaders he has made sure that his motorcades stop at a red light. He listed that among purported achievements of his rule.
Sona Mnatsakanian, the victim, was one of the founders of Support Our Heroes, an Armenian charity. She coordinated a project which is currently implemented by it in Nagorno-Karabakh.