Accident site in Berlin-Wilmersdorf (October 31, 2022): cyclist fatally injured
Photo: Paul Zinken / dpa
The fatal accident of a cyclist with a concrete mixer in Berlin will have no further legal consequences for the driver. The public prosecutor's office has closed the investigation against the man for negligent homicide, as an authority spokesman announced on Wednesday. The investigations did not confirm that the then 64-year-old could have caused the cyclist's accident on October 31, 2022.
According to the public prosecutor's office, according to the result of an expert report for which the accident in Berlin-Wilmersdorf was reconstructed, there is no sufficient suspicion of a negligent action by the truck driver. The accident was also unforeseeable and unavoidable for him.
The case had made headlines and discussions nationwide. When the 44-year-old was run over by the cement mixer, actions by climate demonstrators hindered traffic in the capital. On the A100 city motorway, the protest by two members of the Last Generation led to a traffic jam, delaying the arrival of an ambulance and a special fire brigade vehicle at the scene of the accident.
Climate activists exonerated
The Last Generation was then heavily criticized for its actions. Numerous politicians called for tougher action, and the protest group was met with hostility on social networks. However, experts assessed the case as complex and doubted early on whether the activists were legally responsible for the woman's death.
Last April, the Berlin public prosecutor's office exonerated the climate activists, saying they were not to blame for the death of the 44-year-old. According to the public prosecutor's office, the woman could not have been saved even without the late arrival of the vehicles in view of her serious injuries. At the time, the authority referred to autopsy results and mission reports, among other things. The activists, who were 60 and 63 years old at the time, were not charged with assault or homicide – but with coercion and resistance.
At the same time, extensive investigations into the actual occurrence of the accident were carried out. After a reconstruction of the accident, the public prosecutor's office assumes this sequence of events: The cyclist overtook the concrete mixer on the right, then briefly stretched out her left arm - and in the process swerved out of the bicycle path directly onto the road in front of the truck at the intersection of Bundesallee/Nachodstraße. In the process, she came into contact with the car, fell and was run over.
The accused driver could not see the 44-year-old through the windshield at all after she had switched from the bike path to the road in front of him. In the front mirror, this would have been possible, according to the prosecutor's office. "However, in the case of a driving process that is already underway without the intention to turn, there is no obligation to look into it," it said. In the end, the accused also did not have to expect that the woman would not keep a greater distance from his truck when changing from the cycle path to the lane he was driving.
The then 64-year-old had been attacked and injured by a man with a knife immediately after the accident. The 48-year-old has since been placed in a psychiatric hospital. The Berlin Regional Court had ordered this in March. The perpetrator, who was homeless at the time, had acted out of a pathological delusion, it was said.