Truck driver stunned by major southern Netherlands crash, employer says

A truck driver involved in a major accident near Helmond on Monday, in which five people were killed and four injured, is mentally shaken by what happened. The trucker's injuries are less severe than expected. "He has a number of scrapes and a lump on his knee, but especially mentally he is having a hard time", a spokesperson for his employer, Adriaans Riolering, said to RTL Nieuws.

The accident happened around 4:20 p.m. on the N270 between Helmond and Deurne. A passenger van - carrying eight temporary workers deployed by employment agency Horizon Groep in Velp - collided head on with the Adriaans truck. Five of the people in the van were killed, the other three injured. The fourth injured was the truck driver. Eyewitnesses report that the van may have been on the wrong side of the road. 

The Adriaans spokesperson visited the 48-year-old truck driver in hospital on Monday. The driver told him what happened. "He was driving in his truck when he saw a van come at him on the wrong side of the road. He saw the van coming closer and tried to break or swerve, but it did not help", the spokesperson said to RTL. Bystanders called the emergency services. "They were on the spot pretty quickly according to our driver."

Adriaans also made contact with Horizon Groep. "We conveyed our condolences and discussed what exactly happened. The shock was enormous for them too." According to him, Horizon Groep said that their three injured workers are now in a stable condition.

Horizon Groep is stunned by the news, spokesperson Miranda Vos said to Eindhovens Dagblad. "It is terrible what happened." The company contacted the victims' families and informed the other employees about what happened. "Some had good contact with the victims or were even family." 

According to the police, the people who died in the crash were four men between the ages of 27 and 37 and a 24-year-old woman. The injured workers were two 36-year-old men and a 49-year-old women. All lived in the German town of Goch. According to Horizon Groep, they were migrant workers from Romania. 

The victims' families have been informed and they are on their way to the Netherlands, according to RTL. 

The police are still investigating exactly what happened.