Crown

Board: Porsche - 911 - 996 Language: English Region: Worldwide Share/Save/Bookmark Close

Forum - Thread


    Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    On the Ringers list right now we're discussing a recent case reported in Germany where a Mercedes test driver received 21 months in prison for scaring another driver into crashing fatally. Here is the opening post:

    Quote:
    which opens the discussion about the testdriver for Mercedes who "pushed" a young woman and her child of the Autobahn A5 last year. He just got sentenced to 21 months in prison, serves him right IF he really did it.

    According to the papers a Merc testdriver was doing 250 or so, approaching this woman who was doing 100 and a bit. She then panicked and drove off the road killing herself and the child, he is deemed fully responsible for her accident.

    So, be warned if you're one of those who like to approach like a ballistic missile and brake hard to within 10m distance, if the person in front of you have a bad accident you'll end up in jail! Considering how some people on this forum who I know drive this could very well happen and this is NOT a joke, this bloke really will spend the next year and a bit in prison.
    Christer



    Curious if anyone here is aware of the incident and/or has any comments?

    Stephen

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident


    Drivers who are using their above average driving skills (like the Merc test driver for example) to scare other people are real idiots and should be punished accordingly...

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    21 months for two lives , not enough in my opinion.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    Here is some pretty good coverage of the incident: Telegraph News web page

    There are many other news reports. It seems to be widely covered.

    Great article..

    Great article GM. Thank you.

    Now someone please tell me, exactly what did the driver do that was wrong ?

    Interesting that the court took the unusual step of releasing the name of the accused. Is it possible that an example was being made?

    Stephen

    Re: Great article..

    Quote:
    Now someone please tell me, exactly what did the driver do that was wrong ?



    Being a good and RESPONSIBLE driver is not only about doing whatever you want with your vehicle.
    It is also and MOSTLY about anticipating other people's behaviour. You have to remember than for 90% of us (drivers) the automobile is just a mean of transport, the majority of us don't actually see any pleasure in it.
    A car, made to go from A to B, thank you.
    So, when this person approaches at well over 200 kmh a slow moving car, he should brake much earlier. True, the slow moving car is in the wrong lane, but that's not the point.
    You see bad drivers everyday.
    The Merc driver braked late enough to scare the woman to the point where she lost control.
    Plus and mostly, since he braked to pass her, that means that, when the Kia lost control, the Merc was NOT doing 250 kmh anymore, elementary physics really.
    So it's reasonnable to assume that this man SAW the Kia losing control and nevertheless, carried on his own way.
    In france, this is called "Delit de fuite et non assistance a personne en danger" sorry don't know the exact translation, but basically you're looking at about 10 years in the box.
    The Merc driver's mistake was not to drive at 250 kmh on the road, it was to WRONGLY assume that the Kia would get out of the way, and not to stop to check if the driver was fine, who having died in the accident with her daughter, probably wasn't.
    I'm no lawyer, but over a year sounds a bit light IMO although plenty to reflect on what he has done, but the poor guy will have lost his job and will probably never work for the car industry again.
    Now ask yourself this question: Dying with your two years old daughter for driving slowly in the fast lane, now that's a tough judgement, dont' you think?

    Responsible?

    Hi Fanch,

    Ok, here we go ...

    No one saw the accident. According to the judge, not even the Mercedes driver saw the accident. So how sure are you of the facts? Where do they come from? So how do you know that the Merc driver intentionally scared the Kia driver?

    The judge specifically ruled that the Merc driver wasn't responsible for leaving the scene of the accident as he hadn't seen the accident.

    Instead, it looks as if he was convicted on his reputation as an aggressive driver. He was called "Turbo Ruff" because he liked to drive fast cars. He had a reputation within his community of being quick. So Fanch, do most of your friends say that you drive quickly? Are you guilty too?

    Jail time might be appropriate but only if he is actually responsible. Instead, to me, it appears he is the fodder of a court that was intent on making a political statement.

    The deaths of the woman and child are of course very sad. But the plain fact is, we all know that when we use a car to go from A to B there is a chance we might not make it. That applies to the average driver as well as us. They simply died in a tragic accident. It wasn't punishment for driving slowly in the fast lane. Death in an accident isn't punishment for anything. It is just death.

    Stephen

    Another interesting post from Ringers on topic.

    Another interesting post from Ringers on topic:

    Quote:
    The whole thing is blown a little out of proportion and there will be an appeal, of course. Several lawyers have already said that a verdict from the "Amtsgericht" (which is the lowest judicial level in Germany) has a very high likelyhood of being overturned by the next court as the guilty verdicts are said to be between 80% and 90% in the Amtsgerichts around Germany. That is where they can afford to base verdicts more on an emotional basis which is not possible in the Landesgericht, Bundesgerichtshof etc.. So this thing will get all the hype now, it will probably get at least partly overturned and will continue for a few more years to come until the "real" final verdict is found, which I think will end up in him being not guilty due to lack of evidence, or in order to make everyone happy will end up with a guilty verdict with a suspended sentence. All in all the guy is totally screwed of course...

    Michael


    Re: Responsible?

    No I didn't see the accident.
    But someone did apparently.
    Taken from the article Gary posted:

    "The woman, named only as Jasmin A, was driving her small Kia car. She was so alarmed by the sudden appearance of his dark Mercedes 600 CL in her rear-view mirror that she lost control and swerved off the road. One witness told the court in Karlsruhe: "It looked as if the Mercedes touched the smaller car and shoved it off the autobahn.""

    Which confirms that it would have been pretty difficult for Turbo not to see the Kia getting off the road since he was coming from behind.
    But you're right, lack of evidence show that it could well be an accident, tragic indeed, but an accident nonetheless. Turbo could have been daydreaming or playing with the GPS or whatever and braked a bit late, a bit TOO late
    Sad escepially since the guy is a professionnal if you ask me.
    But enough said about this OT story. I'm no one to judge.
    Gemany has laws and they have been applied, that's all.
    PS: As for me, I don't drive that fast, I prefer acceleration to top speed. And here's a confidence Stephen, I'm actually scared of top speed, I'm not ashamed to admit it, I've done once 285 on the digital speedo top down and my hands have never been more sweaty. I just think too much in these situations. What is a car shows up? What if a pigeon fly across the windshielf? What if there's a hole on the road, What if, etc etc etc...
    I'm an eternal poser! Top down, sunglasses, empty toscan mountain road, Craig Amrstrong on the stereo Much better than full speed on the motorway for me

    Re: Responsible?

    I don't know how it happened or wether the Merc driver saw the Kia loose control and did not inmediately stop to help, if thats the truth the let him rot in jail, even if he didn't have to do with the accident you need to stop and help.

    That said, I'm I the only one to see some responsability of the accident in the woman? if you panic and run yourself out of the road because a car is approaching fast, you are not fit for driving on public roads, I know it may sound exagerated but you are not only endangering yourself and the passengers in your car, but also other drivers in the road that you may take along with you everytime you panic, if you have a reason to panic or not. Unfortunately in this society, as long as you pass the puny driving test you are fit to drive and developing your driving and traffic skills behond that is regarded as a waste of time. Then the woman in this case has probably never even thought about about learning what to do in dangerous situations and being a safer driver, afterall as long as you drive slow whats the danger?

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    not stopping and assisting when there is an accident, or when one should have known there could have been an accident (confirmed or not by the use of a mirror), is deplorable behaviour.

    they way it was reported here was that he braked, and undertook the car before the car swerved off the road.

    how many times have we been scared by others' driving?
    how many times did our own driving result in a scare?
    and then for both of the above questions ...how many times did that result in a fast manoeuvre being executed by either driver? and what was the outcome of the manoeuvre?

    i can't help but wonder what would if happened if the lady was not driving a kia.

    it's a sad case. safe driving everyone.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    I read about this case today in french newspaper Le Monde.

    Public roads are no race tracks, whatever the competence of the driver or the car. Even if there is no speed limit you anticipate normally skilled and even poor drivers, which we damned well know represent the majority. Actually this is one of the first things they learn you at the Porsche Driving courses.

    From what I read witness statements before the Court indicate completely unadapted driving behaviour on behalf of 'Turbo Rolf'. Considering the absence of a speedlimit this may not be an offence in isolation, but the result is there. Two people died. The causal link between 'Turbo Rolf's behaviour and the fatal accident seem to be supported by facts and witnesses. The judge concluded it was homicide by imprudent behaviour and driving away after the accident.

    I'm not a judge but if the allegations are correct the sentence is fully deserved.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    IMO I agree with the sentence that the Merc driver is responsible for imprudent behaviour and running away (the latter by itself deserves the whole jail sentence he recieved) but I don't agree that he is responsible for the resulting death since that is in part due to the other driver's negligence. If you run yourself out of the road just because you see a car approaching fast in the rearview mirror is not solely the other car's fault.

    What if a driver in the highway is talking on his mobile phone (which is ilegal in my country but sadly not in other countries) and gets distracted for a second and sways a bit into the left lane while another driver is approaching in the left lane to overtake. The driver on the left lane that was approaching to overtake instead of just slowly braking to avoid the car or passing though the available space, instead panics and slams on the brakes and when the car starts to oversteer a little he panics some more and violently countersteers and flips the car. The driver dies. Should the driver on the mobile phone be charged with homicide?

    The driver on the phone is at fault for provoking a dangerous situation, but does that mean that whatever happens thereafter is his fault even if the consecuences are due to other's negligence at the wheel? i.e is the "death" of the driver due to the situation that the driver on the phone provoked or due to inability to avoid an otherwise comon and easily avoidable dangerous situation.

    Its tough to know were to draw the line I guess.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    "Undertaking" (No Pun intended) is illegal in Germany....thus, the Mercedes driver had already placed himself on the wrong side of the law.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    This is a really sad, and at the same time really odd story. Im not going to state my opinion because I don't want to offend anyone, but I will say this, as a driver you have complete control over your'e car, but not control over others. Therefore you shouldn't drive as if you are the only person on the road, because your'e not . Fast cars aren't meant for fast people, if you know what I mean.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    If this person is guilty so is everyone who suddenly swerve out to the fast lane without looking, which has happened to me on several occassions,but I am still here because I am observant and able to read the traffic.
    Unless the driver of the mercedes touched the other car I simply can't find him guilty of the crime he was accused of.
    Panic and poor experience in driving in the fast lane on the autobahn was the course of this accident.
    What if it had been the man in the mercedes who had panicked and died because of a man or woman approaching fast from behind in a Toyota for example?

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    Good point.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    Quote:
    CF said:
    Unless the driver of the mercedes touched the other car I simply can't find him guilty of the crime he was accused of.




    I also agree on CF's points...

    Also, if the Mercedes was going 250mph, and "touched" the other car, I'm quite sure there would be obvious proof on both cars...paint to paint, etc....

    Re: Responsible?

    Quote:
    carlos fromspain said:
    I don't know how it happened or wether the Merc driver saw the Kia loose control and did not inmediately stop to help, if thats the truth the let him rot in jail, even if he didn't have to do with the accident you need to stop and help.

    That said, I'm I the only one to see some responsability of the accident in the woman? if you panic and run yourself out of the road because a car is approaching fast, you are not fit for driving on public roads, I know it may sound exagerated but you are not only endangering yourself and the passengers in your car, but also other drivers in the road that you may take along with you everytime you panic, if you have a reason to panic or not. Unfortunately in this society, as long as you pass the puny driving test you are fit to drive and developing your driving and traffic skills behond that is regarded as a waste of time. Then the woman in this case has probably never even thought about about learning what to do in dangerous situations and being a safer driver, afterall as long as you drive slow whats the danger?




    I was totally thinking of what u were saying.The driver of the benz didnt swerve into her, or bump her.

    Re: Responsible?

    I remember when I was still a student to have been scared the hell when an M3 arrived like a canonball behind me when I was overtaking other cars. Schumi and Barrichello can do this to each other with a grin on the face. We all damned well know that you should not do this to your wife or grandmother. The benchmark is not how we drive and 'read' the traffic, but how the average, probably poorly skilled, driver does so. The quick guys must anticipate the slower ones, not the opposite!

    IMO the good driver is a gentleman, be it on a race track or on the public road. I love my Porsche and make no mistake when I can, particularly in Germany, I step on it. But I always try to be a gentleman. 'Turbo Rolf' has probably not done so. This is also what makes him an easy scapegoat of the Speedlimit lobby.

    Right of way...

    Quote:
    CF said:
    If this person is guilty so is everyone who suddenly swerve out to the fast lane without looking, which has happened to me on several occassions,but I am still here because I am observant and able to read the traffic.




    Your example is much stronger. In the situation you describe, the person pulling out in front of you is violating your right-of-way.

    In the Merc case, the woman had a clear and open highway in front of her. The Merc was behind. All of the normal rules of the road were followed. The woman apparently crashed because she missinterpreted the situation.

    Stephen

    Re: Responsible?

    In that case I have been at risk of several hundred years of
    imprisonment while driving in the fast lane.
    This was an unfortunate accident where the woman panicked and lost control of her vehicle.
    This is an accident which could easily have happened to any of us.
    What if I was driving at 150 mph (240 km/h ) while passing by this lady in the fast lane for example and she panicked for some reason and lost control, or she suddenly for no reason chose to go out in the fast lane and I lost control of my vehicle and thereby crashing?

    Re: Responsible?

    Aside from not stopping, the Merc driver is only responsible for agressive driving, but is not responsible for the negligence of the lady driver that made her cause the accident all by herself. They are two different things IMO.

    Re: Responsible?

    Quote:
    carlos fromspain said:
    Aside from not stopping, the Merc driver is only responsible for agressive driving, but is not responsible for the negligence of the lady driver that made her cause the accident all by herself. They are two different things IMO.



    I agree completely but I also think he has a little bit of culpability for the actions of the woman if he got as close as one of the witnesses says. Don't get me wrong, I do think this is an example of the ridiculous "US litigate for everything nothing is MY fault" mentality infecting Germany. However, there is no call for someone to get within 10 feet another cars rear at highway speeds no matter what. It's just not called for. There is a german law that specificies a following distance based on speed, it's a little unrealistic but what he was allegedly doing was unconscionable. That said the woman probably shouldn't have been driving either and he should have stopped to help. I don't understand how the judge determined he didn't see the accident or how he could have not seen it though.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    A mom and her child are dead. Was she cruising the left hand lane or passing another vehicle? We don't know. Does it matter? The accused came up on her fast enough to scar her. He drove close enough to her vehicle to have witnesses state that they thought that his car pushed her off the road. His behavior after the event was damning in that he brought suspicion upon himself by asking about the event. I will draw an analogy to skiing where the overtaking skier has the responsibility to pass a slower skier safely. How many times have you driven on the freeway, checking your rearview mirrors responsibly only to have a vehicle suddenly appear without warning. This happened to me on the Autobahn while I passed another car at 100 mph. I cleared my mirrors and while passing a Porsche 986 came right up my a__, flashing his lights. He could have just as easily eased up to a safe distance and flashed his lights, but he chose to be a bully. This happens too often on the Autobahn and I suspect that this happened on this occasion. I have no sympathy for the Mercedes test driver who is an expert test driver and thus should be held to the highest standards. A mother and her child are dead. They didn't need to die and his actions lead to their fatal accident.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    I am with you on this one. CF

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    Earlyapex,

    You have to be the guy that stuck his hand in the mower deck of your Toro lawn mower while it was running and you blamed and sued Toro for your chopped off fingers.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    RR4,

    Not really. I'm an emergency medicine physician, husband, and father of a 2 year old. I routinely injured, maimed, dead, and dying people involved in car accidents. I am a 11 year veteran of the U.S. Army during, which I deployed on numerous occasions. I fully believe in taking responsibility for one's actions and inactions. Some board members clearly feel that the woman got in the way, but this assumes she was tooling around in the fast/passing lane which we just don't know. I believe that the passing driver has the responsibility of making a safe pass under all conditions. Coming up to another vehicle at high speed and close enough to convince witnesses that you hit the car is not responsible driving. The Mercedes driver was a trained test driver, which makes his driving even more reprehensible. I like to drive quickly, but I don't pass other cars at such a high speed that I would not have enough time to react to a sudden move on their part and I don't come up to a car at high speed and ride there bumper. There's plenty of open space on the Autobahn to drive quickly and sanely. He can make all the excuses he wants, but the bottom line is that his actions lead to the death of mother and her son. The story came out of Germany and not out of the U.S. so I don't know what our laws have to do with the verdict.

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    I fully support EarlyApex.

    This case has nada to do with a US litigation mentality. It is mere common sense... If what I read about the case is factual, IMNSHO there is a CAUSAL link between this test driver's behaviour and the lady's panick reaction..... How about if I arrive with my car at one of you guys crossing the street as pedestrians and me ensuring that I brake agressively just until at say 1 meter of you (at legal speed but braking with smoking tires), scaring the sh.. out of you, which causes you to run and brake your neck????? Clearly, I did not push you, but would you not believe that I am guilty of your accident? And what if I drove away after having done this to you?

    Re: Mercedes test driver "pushing" car off in fatal accident

    Given the experience of the mercedes driver I find it unlikely that he has done something which he doesn't do just about everyday when he is driving on the autobahn.
    If we assume that, it would seem to me that the woman must have panicked or simply been surprised by the fast approaching car and thereby lost control of her car while changing lanes.
    Just because it was a woman and her child that doesn't mean it was the mercedes drivers fault.
    I am sure we wouldn't have this discussion if it would have been a mercedes test driver who panicked and lost control over his vehicle.
    I regularly drive on the autobahn and pass other cars at very high speeds which by the way is very normal on the autobahn,and if someone panics because I overtake them, that simply isn't my problem, that is their inexperience of driving on the autobahn.
    When I approach a car from behind at the autobahn at high speeds I usually first wait and see if they have noticed me, if not I slow down a bit and flash my lights once or twice from a distance, if they don't change lane I slow down and stay behind them at a safe distance so that I know that if they brake I still have time to brake as well.
    In other words I drive in a way that i feel is safe for me whatever the driver in front of me would suddenly do.
    I can't imagine a test driver driving any other way than putting his own safety first,which I am sure we all do!!!
    By approaching so fast that your own safety would be at risk is plain stupid and inexperienced which i don't think the mercedes driver is.

     
    Edit

    Forum

    Board Subject Last post Rating Views Replies
    Porsche Sticky SUN'S LAST RUN TO WILSON, WY - 991 C2S CAB LIFE, END OF AN ERA (Part I) Thread Closed 9/24/20 12:47 AM
    watt
    748164 2849
    Porsche Sticky The moment I've been waiting for... 8/11/21 2:00 PM
    throt
     
     
     
     
     
    451391 1287
    Porsche Sticky OFFICIAL: New Porsche 911 Turbo S (2020) 9/21/21 11:01 AM
    Leawood911
    166578 1101
    Porsche Sticky Welcome to Rennteam: Cars and Coffee... (photos) 9/17/21 8:59 PM
    Boxster Coupe GTS
    65518 380
    Porsche Sticky SUN'S LAST RUN TO WILSON, WY - 991 C2S CAB LIFE, END OF AN ERA (Part II) 9/22/21 3:45 PM
    JoeRockhead
    54279 520
    Porsche Sticky ROAD TEST: New 992 Carrera 4S 3/3/21 10:57 PM
    Wonderbar
    46499 336
    Porsche Sticky Porsche Taycan Turbo S - Short Review 10/19/20 6:12 PM
    Leawood911
    42960 380
    Porsche Sticky Porsche extends the Taycan model range (Taycan 2WD) 2/1/21 12:42 PM
    Leawood911
    12000 29
    Porsche Cayman GT4 5/4/21 4:46 PM
    Topspeed
    465184 3586
    Porsche OFFICIAL: 911 GT2 RS (2017) 6/25/21 2:56 PM
    the-missile
    384896 3506
    McLaren McLaren on a winning streak 8/12/21 4:57 PM
    Topspeed
    381351 3918
    Porsche OFFICIAL: 991.2 GT3 RS (2018) 4/28/21 12:26 PM
    W8MM
    347367 3252
    Porsche Tesla Roadster 9/23/20 8:22 PM
    bluelines
    337405 4279
    Porsche OFFICIAL: 911 R (2016) 12/8/20 7:51 PM
    DJM48
    317046 2646
    Porsche 992 GT3 9/17/21 4:41 PM
    lexs4
    262554 2975
    Porsche OFFICIAL: The new Porsche 992 – a design icon and high-tech sports car 9/22/21 4:08 PM
    Topspeed
    249954 1568
    Porsche OFFICIAL: New Panamera (2016) 2/11/21 9:22 AM
    Itsme
    167478 1379
    Others Alfa Romeo 4C 9/23/20 10:22 AM
    RCA
    143248 792
    Lambo Lamborghini Huracan and variants 4/9/21 4:32 PM
    Topspeed
    117982 1225
    Porsche Donor vehicle for Singer Vehicle Design 9/22/21 1:28 AM
    Leawood911
    101866 749
    Porsche Welcome to the new Taycan Forum! 7/5/21 4:30 PM
    BjoernB
    92237 1221
    McLaren F1 7/10/21 7:43 AM
    BiTurbo
    82021 209
    Lambo Aventador and SV 8/27/21 2:33 PM
    Topspeed
    71350 698
    AMG AMG GT R 7/8/21 3:07 PM
    CGX car nut
    71180 824
    Porsche Nürburgring - Tesla vs. Taycan 11/23/20 6:10 PM
    Topspeed
    50598 596
    Others Tesla 2 the new thread 9/14/21 1:11 PM
    BjoernB
    47183 1165
    Others Bugatti Chiron 7/22/21 6:55 PM
    Topspeed
    41929 480
    Ferrari Ferrari 812 Superfast 6/24/21 6:30 PM
    Porker
    39706 531
    Porsche Olive 991.2 GT3 Clubsport 1/1/21 7:58 PM
    throt
    38490 615
    BMW M BMW M2 Rumors 7/7/21 8:38 PM
    Jim_in_Iowa
    30420 394
    269 items found, displaying 1 to 30.