Police: Car crashing into pedestrians in Amsterdam definitely not intentional; two victims still hospitalized

Paramedics and a police officer at the scene of an incident (Stock photo: Politie)Paramedics and a police officer at the scene of an incident (Stock photo: Politie)

The man that crashed into a group of pedestrians in front of Amsterdam Central Station on Saturday night, almost certainly did not do so intentionally, the police said on Twitter on Sunday night. The police came to this conclusion after searching the man's home. Two of the eight victims were still in hospital at the time of the police update.

According to the police, the driver is a 45-year-old man from Amsterdam. He has a history of medical problems. It is believed he became unwell behind the wheel - his blood sugar levels may have been affected by medication he was taking. He told the police that he could not remember anything of what happened.

At least four of the eight pedestrians injured in the crash, were tourists. By Sunday evening, two were still in hospital. Around 1:00 p.m. on Sunday the police said that four were still in hospital - two underwent surgery and another two were being kept in a medically induced coma. On Sunday night the two victims still in hospital were conscious, a spokesperson said to AD. 

The driver was still in custody on Sunday night. A breathalyzer test revealed that he was not drunk when the accident happened. 

The Amsterdam man was called out by police officers around 9:00 p.m. on Saturday for driving in an area where no cars were allowed - right in front of the station on Stationplein. "After checking his personal details and the registration of his car, there was no reason to detain him", the police said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

The driver was told to carefully leave Stationplein via a tramway and then rejoin normal traffic. He started doing so, calmly and slowly, according to the police. "At one point the police officers heard that the speed of te car was getting really high." They turned to see the car crashing into a group of pedestrians before coming to a sudden stop against a concrete entrance to the subway station below.

With the police ruling out intent in this accident, those fearing that a terrorist attack hit the Dutch capital can take a calming breath. A number of attacks in major European cities involved a vehicle crashing into pedestrians over the past months. Most recently a van drove into pedestrians on London Bridge in London, Britain before the attackers got out and randomly started stabbing people. Eight people were killed and 48 injured.