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Police officer convicted after fatally chasing teenager

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Pictured: The accused before the start of the trial.
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The tragedy happened on November 18, 2021 in the Tamsweg district of Salzburg. Shortly after 6 p.m., a patrol followed an unlit moped that had apparently been traveling too fast. The policeman who was found guilty of negligent homicide at the Tamsweg District Court today was behind the wheel. Pursued by the police with flashing lights and a follow-up horn, the youth turned onto a dirt road in Göriach. When he fell there, the driver of the police car was unable to brake in time and rolled over the young person. Despite resuscitation, the 15-year-old died.

Questionable safety distance

Today’s hearing was about the question of the safety distance to the moped on the one hand, and on the other hand the question of whether the pursuit would have been necessary at all. The district attorney accused the accused of having neglected the due diligence required in road traffic. The distance between the police vehicle and the moped driver was too small. Defense attorney Kurt Jelinek could not understand this accusation. His client is the same and sufficient distance behind the “freshened up” moped pulled up. This is also confirmed by the two police officers who were also in the car. “The aim of the Nachfahrt was to be able to stop him safely at some point”said the passenger at the time.

mother’s allegations

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The cop sitting in the back seat could did not remember whether the name of the moped driver had been mentioned over the radio and she had not seen the number plate of the moped either. The mother of the deceased had accused the police of reacting differently at the time. Because the officials believed the driver’s name was known, the pursuit could have been stopped. And victim lawyer Stefan Rieder said, “if the police hadn’t been chasing him, the boy wouldn’t have driven so fast and he wouldn’t have fallen”. He spoke of a certain “hunting instinct” and applied for 40,000 euros in compensation for four relatives of the deceased.

“Deepest regrets”

The accused pressed expressed his deepest regrets to the lad’s family. He wanted to go to court but don’t answer any more questions yourself. His defense attorney pointed out that the accused provided first aid and started resuscitation. The accident happened due to the peculiarities of the fall. He alludes to an expert opinion that led to the public prosecutor’s office dropping the case in February 2022. Expert Gerhard Kronreif came to the conclusion that the distance between the moped and the police bus would have been seven to eleven meters. Since the left-hand footrest of the moped got caught in the ground, it clearly had a “higher skid deceleration” given. The two-wheeler came to a very abrupt standstill as a result of this getting caught in the ground. this one “rare” The policeman should have taken this into account in order to be able to brake in time.

Long prelude to negotiation

A three-judge senate of the Salzburg regional court came to a different conclusion, which ordered the proceedings to be continued at the request of the victim’s family. Reason: The driver would have maintained too small a distance to the moped driver and therefore acted carelessly. The public prosecutor’s office then brought a criminal complaint against the police officer for negligent homicide. However, before the process could start, heAt the beginning of July, the district judge decided that she was not responsible because there was a suspicion that the police officer “grossly negligent” acted. This offense carries a penalty of up to three years in prison, which is why the district court has no jurisdiction, the district court’s decision said. On the other hand, the accused police officer appealed and was right. A three-judge senate of the Salzburg Regional Court found that there was no evidence of gross negligence, so the district court was responsible.

Source: Nachrichten

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