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Truck driver flees scene of fatal A1 accident
Photo: DPA

Truck driver flees scene of fatal A1 accident

Published: 02 Jan 2013 11:54 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Jan 2013 11:54 GMT+01:00

A truck driver who on New Year's Day drove the wrong way onto a motorway in northern Germany, killing two people as he tried to turn around, fled from the accident scene, police said on Wednesday.

Police caught up with the Latvian man near the city of Bremen, several kilometres from the A1 motorway in Lower Saxony, where he had accidentally driven his 40-tonne truck down the wrong side at 9 pm.

After realising his error he attempted to turn the vehicle round, hitting a number of cars and killing two people, the identities of whom have not been released. He ran from the scene after his vehicle came to a halt.

On Wednesday morning it was still unclear exactly how many people were injured and how many cars were involved in the crash.

The A1 motorway was shut until 5 am in order for the emergency services to clear the scene.

Over the past few months there has been a string of accidents involving people driving the wrong way in Germany, sparking debate about how to cut the chances of it happening. One incident in early November left six people dead.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:34 January 2, 2013 by Englishted
Making a error OK can happen ,but to try turning ,no .

Leaving the scene when the are people hurt ,unforgivable throw the book at him.
17:24 January 2, 2013 by thatsnotariot
Quite upsetting that geisterfahrer are getting more and more frequent. Terrible tragedy, and to flee the scene? Take his license for good!
19:03 January 2, 2013 by fourwheeler77
It amazes me how many people drive the wrong way on German Autobahns. I could see it happening in America more frequently, since the Interstate signs suck and you dont know which way you have to turn to get on the on ramp until you are right at the on ramp. In Germany the signs are great!
22:43 January 2, 2013 by coffeelover
@fourwheeler,,,Your comment is an oxymoron. If Germany signs are great, why are wrong-way drivers in the news so much? Hence, if the signs in the US are so bad, why are there so few wrong-way drivers here? Especially with the system being so much bigger here? No highway system is immune to wrong-way drivers, but to slam one with a better safety record is bad form. Put the bottle down before commenting. Maybe Germany needs to install red strobes on off-ramps to warn wrong-way drivers. Just a thought.
06:40 January 3, 2013 by pjnt
Come on people. Without real numbers comparing countries is pointless. If Germany has 3 highly public accidents the media makes us all scream for change, where in other countries they may have 10 times that without comment.

Without hard data, it is pointless to speculate.

As for the driver? Fleeing a scene is inexcusable. Enjoy you German vacation behind bars.
08:48 January 3, 2013 by Joearchboy
Actually.... According to the US Highway department, about 350 people are killed each year on US Highways due to 'geisterfahrer'.

According to the ADAC, about 20 people in Germany year die on average due to 'geistfahrer'.

I think that it isn't plastered all over the news when it happens in the US is due to the size of the country. For comparison, on German radio there are country-wide traffic alerts, whereas in the US it is pretty much only city-specific. The same goes with news about traffic fatalities....

Just wanted to clarify.
09:43 January 3, 2013 by DoubleDTown
@fourwheeler77: you must be driving in different parts of the U.S. and of Germany than I have experienced.

@coffeelover: Germany doesn't need red strobes, it needs better designed on/off ramps. But, until they re-engineer the ramps, strobes are not a bad idea.

How many more people have to die before Germany figures out that putting the on/off ramps together to save resources is not worth the resources they are saving?
04:25 January 7, 2013 by RainerL
coffeelover : and @fourwheeler77 > perhaps it has something to do with so many Forraigners driving willy nilly straight in to Germany> I wonder how many of them can even read German Road Signs? Do we there for need better Ramps and signage? I think all needs to be considered with a little lateral thinking before pointing the fin ger only at one obvious that may not be so obvious after all.
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