Mayor defends monster truck licence despite three deaths

The mayor and aldermen in the town of Haaksbergen say there was nothing wrong in the licencing of a monster truck event in the town last year, which led to the death of three people.

The safety precautions in the permit were ‘sufficient’ and there is no reason to withdraw the licence retroactively, the mayor said.

Two adults and a five-year-old boy were killed when a giant truck crushed several cars as part of a stunt but then ploughed into the crowd. Safety experts said later the event should never have taken place in a confined space.

The permit made it clear the public should be 10 metres from the trucks and behind barriers. ‘That is a sufficient safety margin, even if a stunt goes wrong,’ mayor Hans Gerritsen is quoted as saying.

His position directly contradicts that of the council’s own appeals committee which concluded earlier the mayor should never have given the go-ahead for the event.

Officials, the committee said, were not properly prepared and Gerritsen should have rejected the permit on several grounds, including public safety.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation