Suspect in 'yellow vest' hit-and-run turns self in; didn't notice accident

Traffic cone (Photo: Gorkaazk/Wikimedia Commons). (Traffic cone (Photo: Gorkaazk/Wikimedia Commons))

A truck driver from Landgraaf who is suspected of killing a 'yellow vests' protester during a highway blockade in Belgium on Friday, voluntarily turned himself in to the Belgian authorities on Tuesday, his lawyer confirmed. "He did not notice anything about a collision", lawyer Richard Wagemans said to RTL Nieuws.

On Monday the trucker and Wagemans already contacted the Dutch and Belgian authorities and arranged that the truck driver will turn himself in on Tuesday. "He has nothing to hide", Wagemans said to the broadcaster. The man is in his 40's with "years of driving experience", according to the lawyer. "He just did his job. In my eyes he is completely innocent."

The incident happened on the E25 highway between Visé and Maastricht on Friday. A group of some 20 yellow vest protesters blocked the highway, allowing passenger cars through but not trucks.

"That was very threatening for my client to experience. He was really scared to death", the lawyer said to RTL. The protesters tried to stop the trucker. "Then they came at him with a huge iron object. They smashed dents in his truck and threw a huge metal object through his windshield. 

According to Wagemans, the yellow vests on the highway are the guilty ones here. "They had balaclavas on and were aggressive. In my eyes they were the criminals."

The trucker didn't even notice he hit someone, according to the lawyer. "In such a big truck you really don't notice. He knew nothing about a collision and only noticed that he was wanted by the police yesterday." The man and his employer then immediately contacted Wagemans. "It's been really confrontational for him that he was suddenly wanted."

The truck driver is currently being questioned by the Belgian police. Whether he will be taken into custody is not yet clear.