Truck driver suspected of causing fatal accident may have been involved in farmer protests
The Public Prosecution Service for the Northern Netherlands alleged that a truck driver was responsible for causing a fatal accident during a highway blockade last Friday. On that day, the driver stopped his truck at 3 p.m. on the A28 near Beilen. A traffic jam behind formed behind the truck, leading to a collision between a delivery van and a motorcycle. The 56-year-old motorcyclist from Amersfoort was killed.
The truck driver is a 55-year-old man from the village of Mill, part of Land van Cuijk in Noord-Brabant. The delivery van driver, a 55-year-old with no fixed residence, was also accused of causing the accident, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) said. The two suspects were interrogated over the weekend and released. Their driver's licenses have been confiscated.
On that date, July 15, farmers' protest group Agractie called on the Dutch public to show solidarity with farmers protesting against a myriad of Cabinet policies by stopping work for 15 minutes on at 3 p.m. Traffic was shut down on highways in many places around the country. It was already known that this action had been carried out at another location on the A28, near Elspeet, and also on the A1 and A50.
However, it was still unclear whether the fatal accident at Beilen was caused by the protest in solidarity, in which vehicles such as trucks and tractors slowed down or came to a complete stop. Travel association ANWB did not issue a notification on that day about a farmer's protest at Beilen in Drenthe on Friday afternoon. The action to "halt the Netherlands for a quarter of an hour" was a new maneuver in a series of demonstrations against the Cabinet's nitrogen emissions plans.
The investigation into the fatal incident is still ongoing. The head of the Public Prosecution Service for the Northern Netherlands, Diederik Greive, said that "stopping vehicles on through roads can lead to life-threatening situations. This is evident from last Friday's tragic accident." However, the OM has not yet drawn a clear conclusion between the fatal accident and the protests, because "the how and why of the incident must become apparent" from the investigation.
Agractie said it will await the investigation on Wednesday afternoon. "It is too early to react to this accident now," said board member Erik Luiten, a dairy farmer from Aalten in Gelderland.
Reporting by ANP