ANPSuspected Thomas de G.
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 15:27
The Public Prosecution Service is demanding a prison sentence of seven years plus TBS against a man who killed a family of four on the A59 at high speed this year. The 33-year-old suspect, Thomas de G. from Zevenbergschen Hoek, had drunk far too much, drove 250 kilometers per hour and filmed his ride, which left him with only one hand on the wheel.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, the suspect is guilty of manslaughter. He took for granted the chance that deaths would occur due to his driving in combination with drinking. Because the chance of recurrence is high, the Public Prosecution Service also demands TBS in addition to the prison sentence. After serving his sentence, he will not be allowed to drive for ten years, if it is up to the Public Prosecution Service.
The accident happened at the beginning of March, around 9:15 p.m., near Sprang-Capelle. Four members of one family from Raamsdonksveer died: the 46-year-old parents, their 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. They were on their way home after celebrating the father’s birthday.
De G. drove into the victims’ car from behind in his Seat Leon in the left lane. The driver had recently switched to the left lane to overtake a truck. Only at the very last moment did the suspect brake. His speed at the time was just over 200 kilometers per hour.
After the first impact, the victims’ car hit another truck and a third passenger car and then caught fire. People who tried to provide help saw that at least the driver of the car was still alive after the impact. They tried to get her out of the wreckage, but couldn’t open the doors. “The victims met a terrible end,” the presiding judge said.
The G. had a blood alcohol level of 1.77, where a maximum of 0.5 is permitted. He had drunk at least seven bottles of beer and admitted to being a heavy drinker. He previously lost his driver’s license for driving under the influence and had to take a mandatory course. He was also treated by the mental health services for his alcohol use and a girlfriend frequently warned him not to get into the car with alcohol.
The suspect says he can only remember the last moment of the car ride, just before the impact. “I overestimated that I could still drive the car, I suffered from a blackout.” The public prosecutor said he did not find this credible, because De G. remembers everything else from that evening.
The Snapchat video that De G. made up to the moment of the accident was played in the crowded courtroom. It shows that the car is vibrating, probably due to the speed. More videos were found on De G.’s phone in which he recorded his own speeding violations. It also shows that he is drinking behind the wheel.
The judge asked him: “Why do you do this kind of idiotic things?” De G. then said he was proud that his car could go so fast: “I find it exciting to see and do that.”
Three relatives exercised their right to speak. The children’s grandmother, mother-in-law of the parents, reflected deeply on the lives of the victims. She told how a brother of father Rens was diverted because of the accident and saw the wreckage without knowing that his brother and his family had died there.
She recalled how her 10-year-old grandchild Sophie was looking forward to high school and getting her typing diploma, how 13-year-old Laurens was looking for a holiday job, how father Rens had just started studying and how mother Michelle “grew with her.” husband and children, she was exactly where she wanted to be.”
Michelle’s sister bitterly reproached the suspect: “What gave you the right to drive like an idiot at these speeds?” A photo of the family was shown during the words of the relatives. “Look closely at the photo,” the sister said to De G. “I hope you see them every time you close your eyes.”
After the statements, the judge asked De G. what he thought of the statements. “I understand that it has so much impact. It should never have been allowed,” was his answer.
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