Driver who plowed through racing fans accused of manslaughter attempt
The 21-year-old driver who authorities say rammed a crowd of people with his car was accused in court of attempted manslaughter. Five people in total were hospitalized as a result of the violence that took place during the awards ceremony at an autocross event five days ago in Leende, Noord-Brabant.
“Completely innocent visitors fell victim to a totally idiotic action on Sunday,” the prosecutor said in a statement.
Witnesses told prosecutors that the suspect became irate when a race he was supposed to participate in was canceled for safety reasons. The man demanded a full refund of his registration fee, and was refused.
“The argument was the reason he drove his car into the crowd,” the prosecution service alleged.
Two men and a woman were hurt as a result of the crash. A teenaged boy was also hit in the fighting that took place afterwards. All four were hospitalized, along with a fifth person who fell ill a day later and said he too was beaten by the suspect.
The suspect, from Reuver, Limburg, was remanded into custody on Wednesday while investigators continue building a case against him. His girlfriend, 17, was released from custody on Tuesday.
She initially told police that she was behind the wheel of the car, but multiple witnesses refuted her statement. Authorities said only the male suspect was in the car when it viciously collided with the crowd.
A follow-up court hearing likely in the first week of October could determine if the suspect’s pre-trial detention will continue further.