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Best friend died in an accident with a 400 hp sports car: 15 months partially injured

Best friend died in an accident with a 400 hp sports car: 15 months partially injured
Symbolic photo
Image: colourbox.de

The 19-year-old who died let the defendant take the wheel of his sports car, which had been tuned to 400 hp, on May 5, 2023. He lost control of the vehicle on Leberstraße in the direction of Landstraßer Hauptstraße, skidded and crashed into a parked bus. The 19-year-old died in the passenger seat.

100 km/h in the city area

The cause of the accident was the defendant’s excessive speed and driving behavior, as the traffic expert in the Gray House explained. The driver was traveling at 100 km/h in the city area at the time of the accident. The BMW M1 was also “not roadworthy or operationally safe” because the vehicle had been pitched up by 90 hp with modified engine software that was subsequently installed. “You’re partly a passenger,” said the expert.

The defendant was completely remorseful and confessed: “I tried the car for the first time. I don’t regret a single second in my life other than getting into the car that day.” The 21-year-old, who currently works as a parcel delivery driver, said he “hit the gas in the curve.” The son of a car dealer dropped out of an apprenticeship as a car mechanic. “It caused me to skid. The car turned completely,” reported the 21-year-old. He “underestimated it. I didn’t expect the car to rotate around its axis.”

The driver suffered a concussion, a bruised lung, a ruptured liver and a broken jaw in the collision with a parked bus. His best friend died from his injuries in the passenger seat. During the autopsy, the cause of death was found to be a traumatic brain injury and massive bleeding into the abdominal cavity. The driver involved in the accident was not drunk.

What helps him the most is that he has “found God.”

The defendant revealed that he suffers from flashbacks and is receiving psychotherapeutic and medication treatment: “I blame myself every day as to why I didn’t get the car under control.” What helps him the most is “that I found God. I started reading the Bible. I believe in life after death and in a reunion,” said the 21-year-old, his voice breaking. Whatever punishment he imposes, it would be “not the harshest. I would give my life to bring him (the man who was killed, note) back.”

The defendant admitted that he belonged to the so-called tuning scene: “I had tuned cars. Yes, I loved powerful cars.” He enjoyed driving his father’s Porsche Panamera. He got his driver’s license at the age of 17, and there had already been his first accident with a microcar when the then young man drove into the display of a fast food restaurant. His driver’s license was later revoked for speeding and ignoring a red light. The defendant demonstrated his enthusiasm for driving at high speeds by posting a video online that showed him driving a sports car at 250 km/h on the highway. In March 2023 – a few weeks before the fatal accident – he was caught in a traffic stop and was taken out of traffic for being an alcoholic with a blood alcohol level of 1.2.

Compensation for pain and suffering

Single judge Andreas Hautz gave the 21-year-old a prison sentence of 15 months, four months of which were unconditional, with a penalty of up to three years for grossly negligent homicide. The rest, who had previously been in good standing, was granted a three-year probationary period. “The signal has to be: anyone who gets into a car like this and drives 100 km/h in the city area is partly sitting down,” the judge stated in the reasons for the verdict. The legal representative of the relatives of the deceased was awarded 3,000 euros for funeral costs. The defendant’s family had already transferred 20,000 euros in bereavement benefit to the surviving relatives in mid-October. The 21-year-old was also given instructions to continue his psychotherapy under accompanying psychiatric supervision. The verdict is already final, both the prosecutor and the defense attorney agreed with it.

The trial took place amid enormous public interest. The family, acquaintances and friends of the person who died followed an appeal on the Internet and came to the regional court. The main hearing was moved at short notice to a jury courtroom, where only a small number of the 150 interested people were seated. While the auditorium, which was at times emotionally agitated, remained quiet during the hearing, some of the spectators were losing their nerves after the verdict was announced. “Murderer! Murderer,” was shouted at the defendant, and a number of swear words and insults were also used.

As a precautionary measure, the vice president of the regional court, Christina Salzborn, withdrew some police officers from the parallel trial against ex-Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and asked them into the hall. The officers then took action prudently but firmly and ensured that after a few minutes there was calm and the defendant and defense attorney Elmar Kresbach were able to leave the court building unmolested. Dozens of friends and relatives of the person who died gathered in front of the regional court and took heated exception to what they saw as the sentence being too lenient. “What’s this, killing people, four months!” or “I’m going to do negligent homicide now too!” was called. In this situation too, police officers ensured that the charged atmosphere did not escalate further and that the visitors left after 15 minutes.

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