Vigil held for Groningen footballers killed in Christmas car crash

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Three young men from Hoogezand-Sappemeer in Groningen were killed in a car accident in Groningen on Christmas eve. Their football clubs HS'88 and vv Froombosch opened their doors to family and friends for a vigil on Sunday. They also opened a condolence register, NOS reports.

Alderman Oetra Gopal attended the HS'88 vigil "It was heartbreaking, but also heart-warming", he said to NOS on Monday morning. "When you get there, you realize how much shock and grief such an accident entails, especially at this time. But it was really nice to see how many people came to show their support.

The young men's car went off the road for a still unknown reason and ended up in a ditch. Two boys age 18 and 19 from Sappemeer and a 21 year old from Hoogezand were killed. A 19-year-old man from Westerbroek survived the accident. He is in hospital with serious injuries. 

The police are still investigating the cause of the accident, but immediately put a stop to rumors that the young men were involved in a street race. None of the witnesses or bystanders said anything about another car being involved, a spokesperson said to NOS.

Not only the football clubs, but also the entire municipality expressed its support to the victims' friends and family. Candles and flowers were left at the scene of the accident. "It must be a very black and difficult day for the family and friends of the victims and the rescuers involved, especially in this period of the year", a spokesperson for the municipality said to RTV Noord. "The compassion of Mayor and Aldermen is therefore with them, as to all others who feel connected to the victims."