On the fourth day of the trial in the "speeding trial" before the Hanover Regional Court, the two defendants get involved again. Already at the start a week and a half ago, Ewa P. and Marco S., whom the public prosecutor's office accuses of driving a prohibited car race on a country road near Barsinghausen, had presented short statements. They vehemently denied the accusation of car racing. This Tuesday, the race will not be specifically discussed. But about the serious accident, as a result of which two brothers, two and six years old, died in a Nissan in oncoming traffic, and about what had happened before, the two 40-year-olds answer many questions, especially Ewa P., the main defendant.

Eva Schläfer

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

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First, however, two colleagues who worked with her until February 25, 2022, report on her driving style. One says that after trips to her native Poland, she said she had been flashed again. She sends the notices to her sister in Poland, who doesn't mind if she loses her driver's license.

The second colleague, who also lives near P., describes her driving style as follows: "Very fast is an understatement". In the company she was called "Schumi" – or "lead foot". On the way to work, he was regularly overtaken by her, and she often passed several cars at the same time. Once she had taken him to work, he had seen the speedometer out of town on the country road at 150 kilometers per hour. He also mentions that it was whispered that something could be wrong with Ps. changing, always highly motorized vehicles. "Why does she go cleaning and drive such cars?"

The defendant is herself a mother of three

This witness claims to have seen the defendant even after the loss of her driver's license, as she got out of a newly purchased Passat. P. claims to have bought it for 33,000 euros for a friend who wanted to replace her money. According to her statement, this friend drove her around in the car, for example, when she submitted sick notes to her employer.

The defendant, who is a mother of three, considers her driving style appropriate. "I think I'm a good driver," translates the interpreter for P., who speaks German but brokenly. She drives according to the rules, had never had an accident before. Her attempt to pass Marco S., who was driving in the right lane, in his Cupra Formentor, she perceived as a normal overtaking manoeuvre. When she realized that she couldn't get past him before a bend, she let herself fall back and cut into her lane behind the Cupra – that's how she remembers what happened on the day of the accident.

All participants and witnesses say otherwise

But all the other participants and witnesses say something else – including co-defendant Marco S., who tears up when asked why he took a different route home from his supermarket that Friday afternoon than usual. The accident expert also reconstructs that the Audi must have cut in front of the Cupra directly before the collision, otherwise it would have been involved in the accident.

When cutting in, P. first touched an oncoming Mercedes. As a result, the Audi got into a spinning motion and hit with its passenger side against the front of the Nissan, in which the two boys were sitting with their parents from Syria. On a dashcam video you can see how the Nissan was thrown through the air.

In addition to this video, the expert evaluated the data from the airbag of the Audi A6 for his analysis and took various measurements. Taking into account a tolerance limit, he assumes that P. had accelerated to 180 kilometers per hour when she drove next to the Cupra shortly before cutting in. The accelerator pedal was completely depressed. Marco S. must also have been traveling in his Cupra at "approximately the same speed". A speed of 70 kilometers per hour is allowed on this route. After the accident, a ban on overtaking was established on the track, which did not yet exist in February 2022.

Before the forensic pathologist of the Hannover Medical School gives his report on the massive injuries of the two children, her mother leaves the room. Her husband, the boys' father, listens to him and looks at him intently. The parents had done everything right. The child seats were selected correctly in terms of age, both boys buckled up. But the narrow bodies had nothing to oppose the enormous forces acting on them. The process continues.