The fact that witness statements are such a thing, especially when it comes to the death of two children, is shown on the third day of the trial in the "Raser trial" before the Hanover Regional Court. The main defendant Ewa P. and the co-defendant Marco S. are accused by the public prosecutor's office of having driven a prohibited car race, which ended in a violent accident and in which the two and six-year-old sons of a couple died.

Eva Schläfer

Editor in the "Life" section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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Two witnesses want to have observed the two motorized cars, equipped with conspicuous rims, recklessly driving before the accident. But after questioning by the presiding judge, it turns out that the information can probably not be correct in terms of time and place. Both witnesses had reported to the police after reading about the accident in the newspaper.

"A huge field of rubble"

On the other hand, a very impressive report is given by a young policeman who was not on duty, but lives near the scene of the accident in Barsinghausen, Lower Saxony. He heard that something had happened and jumped on his bike. He quickly reached "this huge debris field" on the afternoon of February 25 and hurried to a Nissan lying on its side. In him, he recognized two responsive adults in the front seats. In the font he saw a child hanging in his seat. He climbed into the car. Meanwhile, his father-in-law, also a policeman, had come after him. The younger man handed him the unresponsive boy.

Another first responder pointed out to him that there was another child in the back seat. "I hadn't even noticed. It was covered by its seat shell and by food that had been thrown through the car in the accident," the policeman reported. He pushed the seat shell aside and perceived a "massive head injury" in the toddler. He then told his father-in-law that the child was dead using a code used by the police. "I didn't want my mother to know."

Said mother is not in the courtroom this Friday. The day before, she had been seen how much it bothered her to listen to the accident accounts of various witnesses. Together with her husband, she has nevertheless decided to act as a joint plaintiff in the proceedings.

"She was traveling at ape-like speed"

Other people involved in the accident, to whom almost nothing has happened compared to their parents, are still suffering from what they have experienced. A young woman, who met the speeders with her boyfriend at the time and just managed to avoid a collision with the defendant's Audi A6 by swerving ("she was traveling at ape-like speed"), reports that she then had panic attacks, did not drive a car for weeks and could sleep badly for a long time. "It's not easy," she says.

After this sentence, Ewa P. gets up, turns on her microphone and, sobbing, first turns to the witness, then also to the father, says how sorry she is. "I just wanted to overtake."

To what extent the court will follow this account or the opinion of the public prosecutor's office that the two defendants were in a race is not yet foreseeable. The hearing will continue on Tuesday.