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Eight die in mass pile-up and head-on collision

The Local · 19 Nov 2011, 10:34

Published: 19 Nov 2011 10:34 GMT+01:00

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“It was a scene of devastation,” a police spokeswoman said of the pile-up which happened in thick fog.

A woman and two men were killed, while at least 35 people were injured, 14 seriously. Six children were also injured, the youngest of whom was just six months old, although the baby was only slightly hurt.

The pile-up happened at around 7:15 pm on the A31 between Heek and Gronau-Ochtrup, among traffic travelling towards Emden. Smashed cars and trucks covered the motorway for several hundred metres.

Rescue services from across the region were rushed to the site, with at least 100 police, fire fighters and medical personnel working through the vehicles to get everyone out and deliver first aid before the injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

A police spokesman said on Friday night it was too early to guess at whether the fog alone caused the accident or if people were also driving too fast.

Five more people were killed in the early hours of Saturday when two cars collided near Aachen on the B258 trunk road.

He said it was thought that the 24-year-old driver of one car lost control over his vehicle and swerved into oncoming traffic, hitting another car head-on.

The driver himself, a 19-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were killed in his car, while a 20-year-old woman survived with severe injuries.

The 47-year-old driver and his 45-year-old female passenger of the oncoming car were killed, while a 32-year-old in their vehicle was seriously hurt.

Story continues below…

Counsellors were called to the scene to help witnesses who were devastated by what they saw.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:43 November 19, 2011 by wood artist
"A police spokesman said on Friday night it was too early to guess at whether the fog alone caused the accident or if people were also driving too fast."

The answer is simple: Both of the above. Driving too fast in the fog...or simply driving at speeds where you can't react to things you can't see. If the appropriate speed, given the conditions, is only 10 km/h then...that's how fast you should drive. Arrive late...or arrive dead. Pretty clear choice I should think.

20:13 November 19, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Me and my wife drove through the area minutes before this happened and it was madness, you could barely see the hood of the car in some stretches of road.
20:36 November 19, 2011 by Simon_Kellett
> fog alone caused the accident or if people were also driving too fast.

What a stupid thing for a police spokesman to say !! Fog *never* causes a crash: only people driving too fast in fog can cause a crash !
07:52 November 20, 2011 by Englishted
Having driven in fog on German autobahns the only advice I could give is get off them as soon as possible ,because if you slow down there is a great risk of somebody driving to fast running into you.

I feel sorry for anyone who has involved in this .
08:34 November 20, 2011 by Gretl
I've read a scientific article about driving in the fog and how the lack of sensory input about the speed you are going can lull the driver into going faster. My husband is like that. I'd rather creep along.
11:50 November 21, 2011 by perryjshort@hotmail.com
First of all condolences to all the families and friends of those who passed away in this tragedy. Our prayers and best wishes are with you.

I have just returned from Germany. I delighted in telling my relatives in Aachen how I ' flew ' up the autobahn at great speed to arrive well ahead of schedule to see them. Lucky for me they chastised me for my excessive use of speed and were great at giving me hints on how to safely drive the roads in Germany. Thanks to them I am still alive. When I got behind the wheel of the BMW 530D GT at Frankfurt I felt a bit invincible. As this tragedy has shown that is not the case for me or anyone else.

I should know better. I am a doctor and have worked in Emergency and seen the tragedy that motor vehicle accidents can bring.

Perry Short, Australia.
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