One killed, four hurt after drunk unlicensed trucker loses cargo

Drunk unlicensed Dutch truck driver, fatal accident in Germany
The scene of a fatal accident near Gescher, Germany. Police say the cargo container separated from a truck driven by an unlicensed, drunk Dutch man. February 13, 2020Polizei Münster

One person was killed in an accident on a German highway after he drove his truck into a cargo container filled with iron material that was left on the road. Three other cars then struck the truck, resulting in four other injuries.

The accident happened just past midnight on Thursday when the container dislodged from a truck being driven by a Dutch operator with no valid driver's license. The 42-year-old man, from Goor, Overijssel, was later found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.74 per mille. 

He was found about a half-kilometer further north of the accident site on Autobahn 31 near Gescher, North Rhine-Westphalia, having pulled over after losing his cargo. Münster Police said it was not known why the cargo separated from the truck. 

The driver of the other truck, a 50-year-old German from Lingen, Lower Saxony, died at the scene. His body was recovered once rescue workers were able to cut through the wreckage.

The four others who were hurt were aged 30, 31, 36 and 56. Their injuries were not serious, police said.

Portions of Autobahn 31 remained closed until about 2 p.m. because of the crash. Police said the accident caused nearly 130 thousand euros in property damage.

A blood test was used to determine the amount of alcohol in the Dutch driver's system, police said. The legal limit in Germany is 0.5 per mille for most drivers, and truck drivers are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system, according to the European Transport Safety Council.