A 51-year-old man from Smilde is on trial today for a fatal train accident near Hooghalen on May 22, 2020. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) suspects the man of having caused that accident. The man is said to have been on the phone as he passed the unguarded level crossing with his tractor.
The approaching train could no longer avoid the tractor with a tipper behind it and collided with the trailer. The tipper was dragged hundreds of meters. In that accident, the 58-year-old driver from Hardenberg died and two passengers and a conductor were injured. The driver from Smilde was unharmed.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, the driver of the tractor had his phone on his ear at the time of the accident. De Smildeger denies this. From that moment on, he struggled enormously with what happened, his lawyer Tineke Pieters said earlier. As a result of the accident, two unguarded level crossings at Hooghalen were closed and a detour was constructed.