6 dead after truck slams into community barbecue, Dutch police say
The death toll from the accident rose to six on Sunday when a truck swooped down an embankment and crashed into a community barbecue area in a village south of Rotterdam, while police said seven others were hospitalized, including one in critical condition.
Three men and three women, ranging in age from 28 to 75, were killed, police said.
Police spokesman Mirjam Boers said the driver of the truck, a 46-year-old Spanish man, was suspected of causing the accident in the village of Nieuw-Beijerland on Saturday evening. His identity has not been released under Dutch privacy laws.
The big truck driven by the man left a country road, galloped down the embankment, and rushed into the village gathering place. Bulls said the driver was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.
“We’re investigating what might have happened,” Bulls said.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands said in a tweet that they were shocked by the accident, which they said “caused unimaginable sadness in this tight-knit community. The families affected are in our In our minds, we want the injured force to carry on.” Recover as well as possible. “
Forensic investigators worked late Saturday around the truck, which was parked at the bottom of the levee. It was later towed back onto the road by a crane and a trailer.
Photos from the scene show bunting flags hanging between trees and chairs scattered around shelf tables with plates on them.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte also expressed his grief on Twitter, saying: “My thoughts go out to the victims and next of kin in this terrible tragedy. I hope they have enough strength.”
Local Mayor Charlie Aptrut visited the scene Saturday night.
“My condolences go out to the victims, their families, witnesses and first responders,” he said in a statement.
He added that he had spoken to a number of people at the scene and expressed his “admiration for the way people are supporting each other”.