A millionaire's daughter has been detained over a horrific car crash in which several people were killed and a heavily pregnant woman was left in a serious condition.

Police allege heiress Alyona Zaitseva, 20, jumped a red light at a pedestrian crossing in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv while driving a black Lexus which struck a VW Touareg, overturned and landed on its wheels.

The Lexus allegedly ploughed into pedestrians at the crossing and at least five people including a 15-year-old schoolgirl were killed while several others were injured.

Among the seriously wounded is a woman who is seven months pregnant and has been described as being in a grave condition in hospital.

Advertisement

Three of the dead have been named as Elena Berchenko, aged 25, Yury Neudachin, 24, and Oksana Nesterenko, 36.

Ms Zaitseva's armed bodyguards reportedly drove up in two jeeps immediately after the crash and protected her from a furious crowd who witnessed the appalling crash.

One onlooker who was trying to help the injured described the scene as being like "a war zone."

The driver of the Touareg, Gennady Dronov, 49, was on a green light when the vehicles collided, witnesses said.

Ms Zaitseva, daughter of local energy company multi-millionaire Vasily Zaitsev, was uninjured.

A shocking video of the aftermath of the crash showed bodies strewn on the pavement.

Student Ms Zaitseva was detained initially for three days. Police said she was found not to have been drinking before the crash.

If charged and convicted of causing the crash, she faces up to 10 years in jail.

Advertisement