Laughing gas use involved in Limburg terrace crash: report

Laughing gas canisters
Laughing gas canisters Photo: Politie

The young people who crashed their car into a terrace in Gennep on Wednesday, injuring six people, may have been using nitrous oxide or laughing gas shortly before the crash, L1 reports based on information from witnesses. 

According ot the regional broadcaster, the young people were 'chilling' and using laughing gas in their car in a parking lot a few hundred meters away from the terrace. When they drove away, the 19-year-old driver suddenly swerved left, crashed into a flower box and came to a halt on the terrace.

Six people were hurt. The owner of the terrace sustained the most severe injuries. She was treated in hospital for fractures and bruises, but is now back home, L1 reports. The other five victims sustained minor injuries. 

The 19-year-old driver was arrested. Why he crashed into the terrace, is not yet clear. He may have lost control of the car. But it could also be that he overestimated his ability to drive while under the influence of the laughing gas, youth organization TeamAlert said to NOS. According to a study by the organization, the car is a popular place to use laughing gas among young people as it is not at home with their parents and cheaper than going to a cafe. 

A study by TeamAlert showed that most young people consider the combination of laughing gas and traffic to be very dangerous, except when it comes to themselves. "They overestimate themselves. All people do that, but the combination of laughing gas and that self-overestimation makes them justify it. Like: 'I can do it', 'I can drive well' and 'I have my seatbelt on'," a spokesperson said to NOS.