Relatives furious with drunk driver: ‘Should never have gotten into the car’

A huge crash took the life of Ibrahim Sahalir (44) from Den Bosch last year. Ivo V. (37) from Breda, who hit him at high speed on the A59, was in court in Breda on Tuesday. Ibrahim’s family is extremely angry with him because he was driving way too fast and especially because he had had way too much alcohol. “You should never have gotten in the car.”

The family’s grief is enormous, as became apparent in the court in Breda on Tuesday afternoon. The victim’s husband, mother, sisters and brother addressed Ivo V.

And that was not done gently. “I don’t think you remember anything about that accident,” Ibrahim’s brother snapped. “You should never have gotten into the car with alcohol,” said one of the sisters. “Our family has fallen apart because of this.”

187 per hour
The family is suffering greatly from the consequences of the fatal collision and their lives have not been the same since they heard the terrible news on May 4, 2022. That evening, Ivo V. crashed into Ibrahim’s Smart with his large Nissan.

And that went very fast. V. pressed the accelerator pedal to the floor, according to the car’s data. Just before the collision, he was driving 187 kilometers per hour near Terheijden, where 130 is allowed in the evening. Both cars drove in the right lane and the speed difference was so great that Ivo V.’s Nissan pushed Ibrahim’s Smart hundreds of meters.

Ultimately, both cars ended up in the guardrail on the left. The Nissan had hit the Smart so hard that the license plate was printed in the Smart. Ibrahim died in the wreckage.

Double tongue
Bystanders immediately noticed that Ivo H. had been drinking. According to witnesses, he was slurring his speech and smelled of alcohol. H. knew nothing more about the accident in court, he stated. He had already consumed four cans of beer at home after work. He drank another four beers with a friend in a chip shop. He eventually ended up on the A59, on his way to his girlfriend, with four times the alcohol in his blood.

The judges tried to find out why Ivo V. had gotten into the car with so much alcohol. But, the suspect didn’t really have an answer to that. “I thought it was still possible,” he explained. “Overconfidence,” the judge asked. “I think so.”

What was striking was what Ivo’s girlfriend texted him immediately after the accident: ‘I have often said that you should not drive with alcohol. You wouldn’t drink anymore if you weren’t with me,” it was read. “Delete this conversation,” Ivo had replied.

The victim’s family heard it and responded full of reproaches: “The next time you hug your children, think of us. They can still make beautiful memories with you. Ibrahim’s two children can no longer do that.”

The public prosecutor understood the family’s emotion. He felt that Ivo V. had driven very carelessly and therefore demanded a two-year prison sentence. He also demanded that V. be banned from driving for two years and that he must serve another two years conditionally if he commits another crime.

‘No seat belt’
V.’s lawyer asked the court to take into account the fact that the victim was not wearing a seat belt and that the airbag in his Smart did not work or had been turned off. With a seat belt and airbag he might still have lived, the lawyer reasoned. “The reason for the accident may be his fault, but the consequences may not be.”

The verdict in this case is on December 12.