Friday, May 1, 2009

Richard Karst Tates

Queens Day was ruined yesterday by an ex-security guard, single, recently made redundant and unable to pay the rent on his house in Huissen. He decided to use his car as a projectile to attack the royal family. He apparently had tried to approach from the north but was turned back by police officers. He rerouted his approach from the west, crashing through barriers and spectators, before proceeding at high speed in the direction of the royal coach. Whether his car was too damaged by the initial crash that he couldn´t steer, couldn´t see beacuse of the broken windshield or whether he was groggy at the wheel for the last few meters is unclear, but he missed the royals and collided with a monument at the entrance to the royal palace. If that hadn´t stopped him he would have hit onlookers on the far side of the road at the palace entrance.

He was conscious when his car finally came to a stop and he told police immediately at the scene that his actions were deliberate. Four people died at the scene including the wife of a local football club organiser and a military officer who was standing guard. One person died later in hospital. Ten other people were injured, some seriously, including members of a drum band. The driver died overnight in hospital, already declared brain dead yesterday evening as a result of severe head trauma.

Apeldoorn is still pretty shocked and subdued at the moment. Festivities were closed down yesterday as a mark of respect and there is a condolence register in the town hall. The mayor is doing a great job, staying calm and handling the press conferences. Well done to the police and emergency services that responded so quickly. My thoughts are with the friends and families of the victims and those unfortunate to have witnessed this first hand. Rest in peace to the five innocents who simply out to have a great day.