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DaimlerChrysler test driver faces court

Published on 13/01/2004

13 January 2004

KARLSRUHE – A DaimlerChrysler test driver will go on trial in Germany next month accused of causing the death of a young mother and her two-year-old daughter in a high-speed accident.

The 34-year-old man is alleged to have driven his Mercedes at between 220 and 250 kilometres an hour right behind the woman’s small car on the fast lane of the motorway between Karlsruhe and Bruchsal.

It is alleged the sight of the Mercedes in her rear-view mirror caused the 21-year-old woman to swerve to the right, lose control of her KIA car and come off the three-lane autobahn where she crashed into trees. She and her daughter were killed immediately.

The man to appear in court in Karlsruhe on 9 February is being charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving and failing to stop after an accident.

When filing the charges in October, prosecutors said the Mercedes driver came to just a few metres of the KIA which was travelling at about 150 kilometres per hour on the morning of 14 July. It is alleged he tried to overtake on the very outside of the outside lane.

Prosecutors say the man, a DaimlerChrysler engineer who is also a test driver for the company, was aware of the accident but did not stop. He has denied all the charges.

His lawyer said the charges were supported by vague evidence from witnesses who claimed to have seen the incident from distances of between 150 and 500 metres.

The accused has admitted he was on the motorway at the time of the accident, heading for a DaimlerChrysler test circuit, but was unaware of any accident.


Subject: German news