Truck driver involved in fatal crash at barbecue ‘may have had epileptic fit’

Nieuw-Beijerland, where the accident happened on August 27.
Nieuw-Beijerland, where the accident happened on August 27. Photo: Quistnix at Dutch Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5

The Spanish truck driver whose lorry drove over a dyke and into a barbecue, killing seven people, probably suffered an epileptic fit, his lawyer has said.

The man has been in custody since the incident in Nieuw-Beijerland on August 27. The victims included a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, while seven other people were injured.

Lawyer Winston de Brouwer said the man, named only as Juan, was taking medication for an epileptic condition but had never experienced a fit at work before.

Initial reports said police had ruled out alcohol as a factor and a blood test is being analysed to see if he had used any drugs.

‘He doesn’t know anything about the accident and only has memories from the moment he was sitting in a police car,’ De Brouwer said.

De Brouwer said his client had struggled to come to terms with the impact of the collision because he had been held in solitary confinement until Tuesday. He remains under suspicion of causing a traffic accident leading to fatal injuries.

He said the man had taken his medication as usual shortly before the crash happened at around 6pm.

‘He has heard that he caused a serious accident, but he has had no chance to process it, because he’s in a foreign country in solitary confinement at a police station,’ De Brouwer said.

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