Car crash kills Dutch tourist in last hour of El Salvador holiday

El Sunzal, El Salvador
El Sunzal, El Salvador. Photo: randreu / Wikimedia Commons

Gerben Eskes from Zutphen was killed in a traffic accident in El Salvador during the early hours of Thursday morning. The 28-year-old man and his 25-year-old girlfriend Anouk Mijnheer were in a taxi on their way to the airport to return home when they were hit by a car driving on the wrong side of the road, their families confirmed to De Stentor.

"On Thursday 9 August 2018 Gerben and Anouk had an accident in El Salvdor. Gerben was killed and Anouk was slightly injured. They were in a taxi on their way to the airport to fly back to the Netherlands after three weeks of vacation in Central America", Gerben's parents said in a statement to the newspaper. "At about 3:00 a.m. local time they were hit by an oncoming car. The police found that the driver was drunk. Gerben and Anouk's taxi driver tried to avoid the oncoming car, which hit the taxi in the flank. Gerban was killed instantly."

Gerban was a sports teacher at the Isendoorn College in Warsnveld. Anouk gives sports lessons and works as a health advisor. She is being assisted by family in El Salvador and hopes to return to the Netherlands as soon as possible.

"She works with people with medical complaints and health problems. From that point of view she now wants to emphasize that people should become aware of the possible consequences of driving under the influence", Anouk's mother said to De Stentor, adding that her daughter was very lucky. "The taxi driver swerved to the right to avoid the car on his side of the road. As a result, that vehicle hit the taxi on the rear door on the side where Gerben was sitting. He was killed instantly. Anouk only has a few big stripes of the seatbelt on her shoulder, ribs and hips. Their backpacks which stood between them acted like a fender and caught the biggest blow."

Local media report that the driver that caused the collision was arrested on suspicion of death through negligence and reckless driving.

Gerben and ANouk traveled through Guatemala and El Salvador. Anouk kept a travel blog. In her last message she said that they enjoyed the last few days in surf paradises El Sunzal and El Tunco, according to De Stentor. "We'll fly home tomorrow. At 3:00 a.m. a taxi will pick us up and take us to the airport. It was wonderful to backpack together, to see new places, to discover, to have lots of fun and enjoy it together. On to our next trip!!"

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