NOS News•today, 06:00
He would have acted out of revenge and deliberately ran over a motorcycle cop with his truck. Today the lawsuit is filed against the truck driver who killed police officer Arno de Korte last year.
That happened when the motorcycle police officer wanted to check truck driver Willem M. from Melissant. De Korte was dragged along for hundreds of meters.
The Public Prosecution Service thinks that Willem M. deliberately ran into the motorcycle police officer. Witnesses heard how M. gasped after he got a trailing sign. “They saw that he made no attempt to swerve, hit the motorcyclist head-on and then drove on,” the public prosecutor outlined earlier.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, M. had long harbored resentment against the police, who he accused of repeatedly putting him aside. He is said to have said that he would kill a police officer at the next check.
Attack on the police
“In our view, this is an attack on the police,” says Joke de Korte, Arno’s mother. She is, like the Public Prosecution Service, convinced of murder. “He’s been planning it for a long time.” M.’s lawyer denies this and speaks of a fatal accident.
Mother Joke is still struggling with feelings of anger and powerlessness more than a year after the accident. “Because he already had more on his conscience,” she says.
Willem M. (sometimes also called Edwin) had been known to the police for years as a danger on the road. Between 2015 and 2021, he was involved in several serious incidents. He had hit a police officer once before, who lost an arm as a result. Willem M. was then given community service.
M. also killed a crossing cyclist, for which he was not prosecuted. Checks showed that his truck invariably was overloaded. Fines didn’t stop him, he said himself.
Despite all the incidents, there was no coordinated approach from the truck driver. According to research, the police, the Public Prosecution Service and the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate should have done more to stop him. The police’s suspicions that Willem M. was mentally unfit to drive a truck did not lead to his driving license being confiscated by the CBR.
It stings the relatives of De Korte. Mother Joke calls it indigestible that Willem M. could continue to drive around despite the danger he posed. “Every time he was allowed back on the road.”
The police have since taken measures, on the advice of the Commission of Inquiry. All officers now know where to report dangerous driving behavior by drivers and after every incident there is consultation with the CBR. Trucks are structurally checked for overloading. The police also keep a closer eye on how often a driver makes a mistake and whether adequate action is taken against it.
De Korte’s family is happy with these improvements, but still feels that his death could have been prevented if action had been taken earlier. Sister-in-law Pascal: “Now there are changes, but it’s just too late.”
At the motorcycle cop’s funeral, there was a four-kilometer tribute from his colleagues:
Kilometers of honorary hague for Rotterdam motorcycle agent
Today, the case surrounding the death of Arno de Korte will be dealt with substantively and the Public Prosecution Service will issue a sentence against Willem M., who will be present in court for the first time.
Mother Joke de Korte also gets the floor today. She is invariably seated in the hall with a photo of her son on her lap. “So that everyone can see him. Arno was a good person, who worked for his fellow man.”