The accident happened around 4:45 p.m. at the pedestrian crossing. The forty-year-old motorcyclist and his passenger (37), both from Lanaken, hit a cyclist (85) from Genk. Both the driver of the motorcycle and the cyclist died at the scene. The passenger on the motorcycle was seriously injured and was taken to hospital. She was in life-threatening condition and her condition was still critical on Sunday evening, according to the latest information.
The mayor of Lanaken reacts badly shaken. “This is truly an indescribable suffering for everyone involved,” said Mayor Marino Keulen (Open Vld). “A drama, otherwise I really can’t describe it. This couple, like thousands of other people, left today to enjoy a beautiful summer Sunday. It’s a transition time. The holidays have just ended and school has just started. So many who seize a beautiful day to take advantage of it. And after such a day, everyone assumes that you will come home safe and sound. That it now has to end like this for them… I can say no more than that with the board of Lanaken we sympathize with the bereaved family today. As a municipality, we are always willing to help where we can offer help for these people,” said the mayor of Lanaken.
The exact circumstances are not yet known, but the emergency services turned out en masse. Several ambulances and mosquito teams were called in. The area was closed to all traffic. The local police Carma is on site for the first findings and the Limburg public prosecutor’s office was informed. They appointed a traffic expert to assess the situation.
Don’t dare to look
One of the first people to offer help was military man Tom Vermosen from As. “There was one other car ahead of me when the accident happened,” the man said. “I immediately put myself aside to see if I could offer help. Several people had stopped and got out, but they did not dare to go to the victims. Another car pulled up on the side of the Swinnenwijerweg. The woman who was behind the wheel screamed and couldn’t bear to see those victims.”
Tom himself ran to the nearest victim. That was the cyclist. “I immediately had a tourniquet with me in case something had to be tied off”, Tom continues. “The cyclist stopped moving and was visibly in serious condition. I could no longer detect a pulse. Then I concentrated on the other victims. Unfortunately, I also quickly realized with the motard that my help could mean little at that time,” explains the soldier.
That is why the man focused on the woman who was sitting on the back of the motorcycle. “She was seriously injured. My main concern was that she would not lose consciousness. So I just kept talking to her until the first responders arrived. While they were doing the emergency room, I kept her head fixed. That way you can prevent the injuries from getting worse. I only left when it was completely in the hands of the MUG team.”
Tom went to wash with one of the fire trucks. “Because I was covered in blood,” Tom says. “I just hope the woman gets through it. But this is really an immense drama,” concludes the witness.