A man hits a tow truck at the Nürburgring - he dies at the scene, seven people are injured. Was liquid spillage the cause of the tragic accident?
One fatality and seven injured - that is the horrific outcome of an accident at the Nürburgring. As the public prosecutor's office in Koblenz announced on Tuesday, the body of the 34-year-old driver who was killed is to be examined by a forensic pathologist. According to the police station in Adenau (Ahrweiler district), the accident occurred on Monday evening during a tourist drive on the race track. According to a spokesman, the car driver died when he collided with a stationary tow truck and became trapped under the tow truck.
The tow truck had been securing an accident scene on the Nordschleife after operating fluids - possibly coolant or oil - had escaped from one of the cars. The car of the driver who died at the scene of the accident caught fire after the collision. As a result, other drivers on the Nürburgring lost control of their vehicles and collided with a crash barrier and other cars. Seven men aged between 31 and 57, were injured, two of them seriously. Twelve vehicles were involved in the accident, including two motorbikes.
With regard to the cause of the accident, the public prosecutor's office said that it is suspected that a corresponding track was created on the roadway due to the spilled liquid. According to the authority, it is investigating the initial suspicion of negligent homicide and negligent bodily injury: "The investigation is directed against the person whose vehicle is said to have lost the operating fluid." An expert has been commissioned to prepare an report on the accident, he said.
"The accident hits us very hard," a spokesman for the operating company announced. The Nürburgring is open for so-called tourist drives on days when there are no events or tests. In compliance with the road traffic regulations, beginners and professionals can drive their own cars or motorbikes around the Nordschleife, or even the Grand Prix circuit. However, the driving regulations and safety rules must be observed. Timing a round is not allowed, racing and speed record attempts are prohibited. In addition, overtaking is absolutely prohibited in the area of accident and other danger spots. The track safety staff will point out possible danger spots with yellow flags or red traffic lights. The speed must also be adapted to the situation and may not exceed 50 kilometres per hour.
The spokesperson for the operating company pointed out, however, that according to police, the accident happened when the track was about to be secured. "Unfortunately, the vehicles involved followed too soon, so that this accident occurred," it continued. Normally, the Nordschleife and the Grand Prix circuit offered a high standard of safety with regard to tourist drives. The track was reopened at noon on Tuesday, according to the authorities.
Original text: (dpa/ga)
Translation: Mareike Graepel