Meticulous investigation into Nieuw-Beijerland truck crash that killed six
The police and the Public Prosecution Service (OM) are conducting an “in-depth investigation” into the circumstances of the drama in Nieuw-Beijerland in which six people were killed and seven injured at a neighborhood party on Saturday. Among them are children. One of the wounded is in critical condition.
A truck crashed into the neighborhood party. The Spanish driver of the truck is undergoing a medical examination. He gave a blood sample to see if he was using medication. The police are also investigating if he was using a phone or was otherwise distracted at the time of the accident.
Chief public prosecutor Hugo Hillenaar, deputy district chief Kini Homan of the Zuid-Holland Zuid police, and acting mayor Charlie Aptroot said this at a press conference in Hoeksche Waard on Sunday evening. They did not want to get ahead of the investigation and speculate about the cause of the accident.
According to Aptroot, the drama has plunged Hoeksche Waard “into deep mourning.” “Six of our residents were literally ripped from their lives. One of them was pregnant and near her due date,” said Aptroot.
The investigation will examine why the 46-year-old driver, who has been taken into custody, ended up on the Zuidzijdsedijk in Nieuw-Beijerland with his empty truck. The authorities are also doing a technical investigation on the truck. “We will get to the bottom of this,” Hillenaar promised.
The investigation must answer questions like whether the driver was lost due to road closure or confusion around his navigation because Nieuw Beijerland, Zuid-Beijerland, and Oud-Beijerland are all close to each other.
Aptroot said he attended a closed meeting with those affected. “What they have seen and experienced cannot be described in words,” he said. He also reported that the close-knit community sought and found a lot of support in each other. Aptroot said he received a message of support from Mark Rutte on Saturday evening and said that the condolences of the Queen are also much appreciated. According to him, a possible commemoration for the victims will be discussed with three local representatives on Monday.
At the press conference, Aptroot appealed to the media to take account of the great sadness in the small community of Zuidzijde, where the accident happened during a neighborhood barbeque. “Keep the residents in mind. They find being filmed and questioned very unpleasant.” He did thank the media for respecting the request to stay away from the residents’ meeting.
According to district chief Homan, a family police officer has been assigned to those affected, and further victim assistance has been arranged, also for first responders. The police and OM still have to speak to many witnesses.