Suspect driving to death Rotterdam family: ‘I don’t see myself as a terrible man’

Suspect driving to death Rotterdam family: ‘I don’t see myself as a terrible man’
Suspect driving to death Rotterdam family: ‘I don’t see myself as a terrible man’
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It is the first time that 30-year-old Suraj A., who is detained in the Penitentiary Institution (PI) Dordrecht, is present in court. He was absent from the pre-trial hearings because he himself was so injured in the accident that he was unable to come to court earlier. He visibly limps when entering the court.

The courtroom is otherwise completely full. Family and friends of Dende (35), Junior (36) and Lala (7) are present in large numbers. Many of them wear a shirt with the text ‘driving under the influence is not an accident’. Relatives are also present on the balcony. “We understand that you have been looking forward to this day, but not with great pleasure,” the judge said as he addressed them.

Nightmare

In many cases, relatives do not have to count on answers. “I honestly don’t know,” is a sentence that A. uses a lot. He says he cannot remember anything about the accident or the hours before. While he first states that he ended up in a nightmare and cannot understand how he ended up in this situation, he then says that he ‘did not concern himself with the criminal case’ in the period after the accident.

Several statements by A. were met with indignant reaction from the back of the room. At one point, a few people get up angrily and are asked by the judge to leave the room.

Investigation showed that the suspect would have driven at least 134 kilometers per hour at the scene of the accident and a maximum of 170 kilometers per hour, where he was allowed to drive a maximum of 80 kilometers per hour. In the 90 meters before the crash he was said to have been driving even faster, at a speed of between 150 and 181 kilometers per hour.

Responsibility

A. states that he is someone who likes to take responsibility and understands the anger of the relatives. When the public prosecutor asks him what exactly he wants to take responsibility for, the suspect says that he does so as ‘a person involved in the accident’. He avoids direct questions about what exactly his involvement is. “I really don’t see myself as a horrible man who would do this on purpose.”

He also remains vague about alcohol consumption. When A. was found in his car shortly after the accident, the police smelled alcohol. There was also an empty alcohol bottle in the car. It turned out that he had 1.53 per mille of alcohol in his blood. An experienced driver may have a maximum of 0.5 per mille in his blood, approximately two glasses.

By his own account, A. drank a maximum of once every two months, and then a glass or two. “I always have Coke cans and bottles of iced tea in the car,” he explained when asked about the bottle in the car. “Now there just happened to be a bottle of alcohol.”

‘You are so missed’

Junior and Dende’s sisters all use their right to speak. A. does not look at them at any time. Not even if they emotionally talk about the impact the accident has had on them. “Dende, Lala and Junior, you are so missed.”

Junior’s sister Shanny, with whom RTL Nieuws spoke earlier, stated today that she is still afraid to get into the car and hardly sleeps anymore. “When I close my eyes, I see my dead niece again in the hospital morgue.”

“You don’t know how much pain and sorrow you have caused us,” said Junior’s sister Annemarie. “I hope you still see their faces in your head every day.”

The Public Prosecution Service demands 12 years in prison and a maximum driving ban of 10 years. The judge will make a ruling in two weeks.

Names of victims

The victims are officially called Michelangela (35), Rinold (36) and Rinaigela (7), but everyone knew them as Dende, Junior and Lala.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Suspect driving death Rotterdam family dont terrible man

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