Video from driver who killed entire family in crash showed speed of 250 km/h
The driver who is suspected of causing a fatal accident on the A59 near Sprang-Capelle on March 10 was driving 250 kilometers per hour on the highway, according to the Public Prosecution Service (OM). The 33-year-old man from Zevenbergschen Hoek shot video of his high speed with his mobile phone, the criminal complaint stated.
The OM has accused the man, Thomas de G., of manslaughter. An entire family from Raamsdonksveer died in the accident. The family included a 10-year-old girl, a 13-year-old boy and a father and mother who were both 46 years old.
The man from Zevenbergschen Hoek was the driver of one of the four cars involved in the accident. He was slightly injured. A test performed immediately after the accident showed that the man had likely consumed too much alcohol.
He did not pay enough attention to other traffic and drove with "an enormous speed difference" into the back of the passenger car that contained the family from Raamsdonksveer, the OM said. Many of their surviving relatives attended the hearing on Wednesday.
The suspect was not present at the court hearing in Breda. His lawyer said he is psychologically vulnerable and is undergoing a personality test.
The investigation has not yet been completed. An analysis of the on-board computer from the suspect's car should provide more information about what the speed was, and whether the brakes were applied during the last seconds of the journey. The investigation into the contents of the suspect's phone has also not yet been completed. Investigators have already viewed 23 different videos, covering a period of over two years, in which 13 serious traffic violations were documented, the prosecutor told the court.
One of the questions the psychological examination should address is whether the man blacked out. "He is devastated and never wanted this," said the suspect's legal representation. The lawyer disagreed with the prosecutor's allegation of manslaughter. He said De G. "braked considerably," and that a witness statement supports that.
The prosecutor continued to allege manslaughter in court. "He simply filmed his own traffic violations. How much more intent do you want?" According to the prosecution, the suspect "made no serious effort to avoid a collision. He did not release the gas until the end of the video. He continued to accelerate until one second before the accident."
The suspect will remain in pre-trial detention, the court decided. Relatives responded with relief. The next hearing is set for August 10.
Reporting by ANP