A man who killed a father and left two children permanently disabled when he crashed on a motorway at 237kph while on drugs has been jailed for three years.
Neil van der L. had taken speed and cannabis before taking to the A2 motorway on December 30 last year. He drove at over 200 mph, swerving across the road, until he smashed into the back of a Citroen C8 near Maarssen.
The impact killed 42-year-old Ricardo van Jaarsveld and seriously injured the other six occupants of the car: Van Jaarsveld’s girlfriend, his three children, their mother and her partner.
A court decided Van der L., 46, from Amsterdam, was in a psychotic state induced by the drugs at the time of the accident, impairing his judgment. ‘I don’t know what possessed me that day,’ he told an earlier hearing.
Van der L. had taken the drugs the night before, but forensic tests showed they were still in his bloodstream when he got behind the wheel.
The public prosecution service had demanded an eight-year jail term, but the court decided Van der L. could not be convicted of second-degree murder or attempted murder because there was no proof of intent. He was found guilty of culpable homicide and banned from driving for 10 years.