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Diplomat kills cyclist in Berlin by opening car door too quickly

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Diplomat kills cyclist in Berlin by opening car door too quickly
File photo: DPA.
11:59 CEST+02:00
A cyclist was killed in the capital city after crashing into the abruptly opened door of a diplomat's car on Tuesday evening.

According to police investigations thus far, a 50-year-old man suddenly opened the door of his parked Porsche Cayenne in Berlin's Neukölln district as a 55-year-old cyclist was heading towards him at about 11pm. But the door was opened so quickly that the cyclist did not have enough time to brake, and thus crashed into the door.

A police spokesman told The Local that the vehicle was a diplomatic car, but he could not say to which embassy it belonged, or give details as to the identity of the 50-year-old man.

But police told Tagesspiegel that the car driver involved had diplomatic status from Saudi Arabia. The newspaper further noted that diplomatic immunity could protect the man from any charges.

Emergency responders brought the cyclist to hospital to treat his serious head injury, but he died by Wednesday midday.

A police unit focused on traffic accidents has taken over the investigation.

The capital city naturally is home to hundreds of diplomats, and last year diplomatic vehicles were involved in 22,816 traffic violations, according to Tagesspiegel. Of those, 60 were traffic accidents, resulting in three seriously injured and 25 slightly injured people.

Chinese diplomatic cars were involved in the most violations at 735 offences, followed by Russia at 697, Saudi Arabia at 683 and the United States at 629.

Due to diplomatic immunity, Tagesspiegel reports that Berlin must forego hundreds of thousands of euros each year in the fines that otherwise would be imposed.

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