Royal sorry for deadly crash28 years on

30th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Pieter van Vollenhoven, the husband of Princess Margriet, has offered his apologies to the mother of a young man who died in 1983 after his car crashed with the one driven by Mr Van Vollenhoven, Dutch tabloid reports.

On 30 December 1983, Jürgen Bienerth, a 20-year-old student from West Germany, was driving his two-door Renault in the Austrian resort of Maria Alm when he was hit by the four-wheel drive Mercedes Mr Van Vollenhoven was driving.

Mr Van Vollenhoven, his wife Princess Margriet and the two bodyguards accompanying them subsequently declared they had been driving at 30 kilometres per hour, adding that Mr Bienert had been at driving 60 kilometres per hour and had swerved onto their side of the road.

Mr Van Vollenhoven, the paper writes, only sent flowers for the funeral. Mr Bienert’s mother says she has never heard from Mr Van Vollenhoven since then. Except for a single interview with Dutch red top paper , Mr Van Vollenhoven had, until now, never mentioned the incident again.

quotes Mr Van Vollenhoven as saying: “In hindsight, I consider it more than regrettable that I didn’t seek direct contact with the mother. Now I certainly would have done so, though I can perfectly imagine that the mother was not keen on either a conversation or a meeting.”

Mr Van Vollenhoven, who holds several public positions, in 1989 set up the Dutch Victim Support Fund, which he continues to chair. He is currently best known as the first chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, in which capacity he served between 2005 and 2011. His wife, Princess Margriet, is a younger sister of Queen Beatrix.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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