Four jailed for viaduct murder
29 June 2005, AMSTERDAM - Four men have received sentences of up to six years for indiscriminately throwing the paving stone from a motorway bridge that killed a motorist.
29 June 2005
AMSTERDAM - Four men have received sentences of up to six years for indiscriminately throwing the paving stone from a motorway bridge that killed a motorist.
The 30-year-old woman from the Dutch town of Uden was killed in January this year when the stone crashed through the windscreen of her car and hit her in the face on the A4 motorway near Rijswijk.
All four men are from Rijswijk.
A sack of rubbish had earlier been thrown from another viaduct and hit a truck, but the driver was not hurt in the incident.
The death of the motorist sparked several copycat incidents of materials being thrown from motorway bridges onto oncoming cars in the following days.
Transport Minister Karla Peijs ordered her officials to identify which viaducts can be easily used to throw debris on to cars. Once the study is completed, she intends to improve security at the viaducts, a decision welcomed by Rijswijk Council — which has already intensified surveillance of viaducts in the area.
The court found all four men guilty of the woman's murder, although it ruled that only two of them actually dropped the paving stone from the bridge.
The public prosecutor had called for sentences of up to nine years but the court decided on lower terms.
Jeroen van G., 22, received six years because the judges decided he was the ringleader on the evening of 9 January when the fatal incident occurred.
A second man, Davy V., 19, was jailed for five years after the court convicted him and Van G. of both the woman's murder and attempted murder of the truck driver when the front window of his vehicle was smashed by the sack of rubbish. Van G. dropped the bag while V. did nothing to stop him.
Stephan H., 19, received 36 months, six of which was suspended and Frederik B., 19, was given 24 months, also with six months suspended.
The court ruled they were guilty in relation to the murder of the female motorist but were not involved in the attack on the truck.
Lawyers for three of the four indicated they are considering appealing the verdicts and sentences.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news