January 23, 2021

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BERLIN — Four people were killed and 10 others wounded after a drunk man sped in his S.U.V. through a pedestrian shopping street in the city of Trier in southwestern Germany on Tuesday. Prosecutors said the man did not appear to be motivated by political or religious beliefs and that they were investigating the case on suspicion of murder.

The man, a 51-year-old German who was born in Trier and lived in the surrounding area, was stopped by police after driving a zigzag course roughly half a mile long down the busy street lined with shops. Prosecutor Peter Fritzen said the man, who officials declined to name, was drunk and appeared to have been living in the vehicle, which was confiscated.

“There are indications that point to a possible psychiatric disorder,” said Mr. Fritzen.

Among the victims killed were a 9-month-old baby, a 25-year-old woman, a 45-year-old man and a 72-year-old woman, all from Trier. Four of the wounded were in serious condition, said Roger Lewentz, the interior minister for Rhineland-Palatinate state.

Images from a grainy video taken by a bystander, the authenticity of which was confirmed by a police spokesman, Uwe Konz, showed a silver S.U.V. being rammed by an unmarked police car and three officers surrounding and restraining the driver. Franz-Dieter Ankner, vice-president of the Trier police, said the vehicle was a Land Rover that was not registered in the driver’s name, but belonged to someone who was not involved in the incident.

Wolfram Leibe, the mayor of Trier, speaking to reporters, broke down when describing the carnage in a city where people were out making the best of what is proving to be a trying pre-Christmas season during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I just walked through the city center and it was simply horrifying,” Mr. Leibe said. “There was a sneaker standing there. The girl it belongs to is dead.”

Trier, in the wine-growing region of the Mosel Valley, boasts several Roman ruins and prides itself as being the oldest city in Germany. Its main pedestrian area, which includes a Roman gate and a market square lined with medieval buildings, would normally host a bustling Christmas market.

Pictures from the scene on Tuesday showed dozens of ambulances and police cars parked on the cobbled streets of central Trier, decorated for the holiday season with green garlands. Christmas markets in Germany have been largely canceled as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but stores are still open.

In December 2016, a 24-year-old Tunisian drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people before slipping the country to Milan, where he was killed in a shootout with Italian police several days later.

Following that attack, German cities began installing barriers to protect such markets and other street festivals where large numbers of people gather, but there was no such protection in place for the pedestrian street, Mr. Leibe said.

“If we had a Christmas market now like we do every year, we would

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By David Rising | Associated Press

BERLIN — A man zig-zagged an SUV at high speed through a pedestrian zone in the southwestern German city of Trier on Tuesday, killing four people, including a 9-month-old child, and seriously injuring 15, officials said.

The driver, identified as a 51-year-old German man born in Trier, was arrested at the scene and the vehicle was impounded, Trier police said.

The suspect, whose name was not released in line with German privacy laws, had no fixed address and had been living in recent days in the Land Rover that a friend had loaned him, which was used in the attack, said prosecutor Peter Fritzen, who was heading the investigation.

He was being interrogated by police and was to undergo a psychiatric examination, Fritzen said, adding that a doctor had recently reached the preliminary conclusion the man could be suffering from mental illness.

“We have no indication that there was any kind of a terrorist, political or religious motive that could have played a role,” he told reporters.

The suspect had also consumed a “not insignificant” quantity of alcohol before the incident and was well above the legal limit, he added.

Mayor Wolfram Leibe, who was brought to tears during the day talking about the horrific scene, said it was difficult to come to grips with what had happened.

“I can’t understand how someone gets the idea to drive through the city center with an SUV to kill people,” he said. “Kill people — a baby, 9 months old to a woman 72 years old; what did these people do? They just wanted to go to the city, shop, and now they are dead.”

Four people were still in life-threatening danger in the hospital and five others suffered serious injuries, while another six had less serious injuries, state Interior Minister Roger Lewentz said. The others killed were identified as a 25-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man from Trier; the baby’s mother was among those hospitalized. Police said the oldest victim was aged 73.
“This incident has shaken all of Germany,” Lewentz said.

Police were called shortly before 2 p.m. with reports of the attack.

Lewentz commended security forces on their reaction, saying that they had located the car, which had stopped at the side of the street, and taken the suspect into custody within four minutes of receiving the first call.

The driver, who was alone in the car, resisted arrest but was overpowered by police, authorities said.

In a video posted by a local media outlet purportedly showing the arrest, police could be seen pinning a man down on the sidewalk next to a car with Trier license plates. The authenticity of the video could not immediately be verified and it was taken down shortly after police tweeted a request that people do not share photos and videos of the scene.

Footage from the scene showed people outside a shop apparently helping someone on the ground lying among scattered debris.

Rhineland-Palatinate state governor Malu

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A baby was among four people killed and 15 injured when a car tore through a pedestrian shopping street in the southwestern German city of Trier on Tuesday, police said, after arresting the driver. Prosecutor Peter Fritzen said the driver, a 51-year-old Trier native, appeared to be suffering from “psychiatric problems” and had been under the influence of alcohol whilst at the wheel of his silver SUV.



a group of people that are standing in the rain: Site where a car crashed into pedestrians in Trier


© THILO SCHMUELGEN / REUTERS
Site where a car crashed into pedestrians in Trier

Police, who have been questioning the suspect, said they had “no indications of a political motive.” Prosecutors are considering requesting that the suspect be placed in psychiatric care, Fritzen told reporters.



a group of people standing in a parking lot: Rescue workers are pictured in the city of Trier, Germany, Dec 1, 2020. German police say at least two people have been killed and several others injured when a car drove into a pedestrian zone.  / Credit: Sebastian Schmitz, lokalo.de / AP


© Provided by CBS News
Rescue workers are pictured in the city of Trier, Germany, Dec 1, 2020. German police say at least two people have been killed and several others injured when a car drove into a pedestrian zone.  / Credit: Sebastian Schmitz, lokalo.de / AP

At the same press conference, Trier mayor Wolfram Leibe said among the dead were a nine-month-old baby and a 73-year-old woman.

“I think this is Trier’s darkest day since World War II,” he said. “It’s a horror scene.”

Also killed were a 25-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man. Fifteen people were injured, several seriously.

Malu Dreyer, premier of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate where Trier is located, expressed shock that a baby was among those killed by the driver’s “insane act” and shared her condolences with all the affected families.



Malu Dreyer looking at the camera: Rhineland-Palatinate State Premier Malu Dreyer looks on at the city center, where a car crashed into pedestrians in Trier, Germany, December 1, 2020. / Credit: THILO SCHMUELGEN / REUTERS


© Provided by CBS News
Rhineland-Palatinate State Premier Malu Dreyer looks on at the city center, where a car crashed into pedestrians in Trier, Germany, December 1, 2020. / Credit: THILO SCHMUELGEN / REUTERS

The baby’s mother was being treated in hospital for injuries sustained in the rampage.

Witnesses had earlier described seeing people, including a young child in a stroller, being flung into the air as the car struck them.

The incident started around 1:50 pm and ended within four minutes of the first emergency calls arriving, with police intercepting the driver after he turned right off a main shopping street.

Police said he had ploughed through the streets for about a kilometre, leaving behind a trail of destruction.



a group of people walking in the rain: Police officers are seen at the city center, where a car crashed into pedestrians in Trier, Germany, December 1, 2020. / Credit: THILO SCHMUELGEN / REUTERS


© Provided by CBS News
Police officers are seen at the city center, where a car crashed into pedestrians in Trier, Germany, December 1, 2020. / Credit: THILO SCHMUELGEN / REUTERS

Officers sealed off the area and cleared people from the city centre.

Smartphone footage from an eyewitness showed the arrest of the driver, who was seen lying face down on the street pinned down by several officers next to the damaged SUV.

He was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

An unnamed man who said he was a former neighbour of the suspect told NTV that the driver had a history of mental issues, as well as money worries and problems “with his father”.

Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced her “great sadness” at the events in Trier and said her thoughts

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ORLANDO, Fla. – A drunk driver who was four times the legal limit drove right through a crime scene connected with a fatal crash, striking a patrol vehicle in the process, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said they were investigating a fatal two-vehicle crash on Hoffner Avenue near Conway Road Friday around 9:50 p.m. and had used a patrol vehicle with its lights activated to block off one of the travel lanes to traffic.

Records show 31-year-old Colter Anderson, of Merritt Island, failed to stop in time for the road blockage and crashed into the right side of the patrol vehicle.

[TRENDING: Gregory Edwards video released | SpaceX Crew-1 launch delayed until Sunday | Fatal Orange County crash]

According to the arrest report, troopers immediately noticed that Anderson smelled of alcohol, was slurring his words and had trouble maintaining his balance. Though his Ford Fusion was damaged and his airbags were deployed, he wasn’t injured in the crash.

Troopers said they conducted a field sobriety test, which Anderson failed.

Two blood alcohol tests were conducted after Anderson was taken into custody and they revealed results of .383 and .371, according to the affidavit. The legal limit is .08.

He’s facing a charge of DUI with property damage.

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