Exactly two years after a serious car accident at Berlin’s Bahnhof Zoo in which three homeless men were injured, some of them life-threateningly, the perpetrator has been convicted. The judges imposed a suspended sentence of one and a half years. The 26-year-old accused was guilty of intentionally endangering road traffic, negligent bodily harm and driving without a driver’s license, the district court in Berlin-Tiergarten justified the verdict on Tuesday.
The man’s driver’s license was suspended for two years. The man was also ordered to pay a total of 3,600 euros to one of the injured and to do 100 hours of community service. He will also be placed under a probation officer for three years.
The judgment went on to say that the accused had driven for a “completely irrelevant reason”. After an argument with his then girlfriend, the 26-year-old got drunk and got behind the wheel of an off-road vehicle on the morning of July 26, 2020. He finally drove “at an unsuitable speed” to the intersection of Joachimsthaler Strasse and Hardenbergstrasse.
“65 to 68 kilometers per hour was too much for the curve,” said the presiding judge. Because of his alcoholism – at least one per thousand alcohol in the blood was found – the 26-year-old misjudged.
“He lost control of the vehicle and drove into the group of homeless people who were sleeping,” the verdict said. The men were run over and seriously injured. In the case of a 36-year-old, a leg was so shattered that it had to be amputated. He had been operated on seven times. Two passers-by fell while fleeing the car and suffered bruises and abrasions.
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The accused, who has no criminal record and was on trial for the first time, had partially confessed to the allegations and expressed regret. “I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart,” he said shortly before the verdict was announced. “I can’t forgive myself that the gentleman lost a leg because of me.” At the beginning of the trial three weeks ago, the 26-year-old admitted that after a heated argument with his then-girlfriend, he got into the vehicle that wasn’t his belonged.
The prosecutor had asked for a two-year suspended sentence. The defender asked for a three-month suspended sentence. The lawyer justified, among other things, that his client was driving at a “speed that was too high, but not too high”. There was no intentional endangerment of road traffic. The verdict is not yet legally binding. (dpa)