Was it hate for cyclists or a normal rear-end collision?

Was it hate for cyclists or a normal rear-end collision?

EA car driver, a cyclist and two versions of the same event face each other this morning in the Frankfurt district court. The fact is: the encounter between the two on a one-way street in Frankfurt’s Westend in the summer of 2019 ended in a collision and injuries to the cyclist. But the explanations for why this happened are diametrically opposed.

The public prosecutor’s office has accused the 58-year-old man of dangerous interference in road traffic and coercion: She says he was disturbed by the fact that the woman was with her E bike drove down the one-way street in such a way that he could not overtake. After she called him an “asshole,” he overtook her and then slammed on the brakes, causing her to hit the car and fall. He then insulted her as a “dirty green pack” and said: “I hope you really hurt yourself. I hope you are well insured, my car damage will be expensive for you.” Five days later, the woman was on sick leave because she had abrasions, bruises and a severe headache.

“You never should have hit me”

The man did not accept the penalty order of 180 daily rates of 45 euros each, which he received for this. Because he describes the events completely differently. In court, he says that the woman was driving “in the middle of the road” and that he warned her with the horn before he drove past her “at an extremely large distance” and “very slowly”. But because he heard her insult, he stopped “to clarify that”. But he didn’t know that she was riding an e-bike that accelerates quickly. “Apparently she didn’t have it under control.” In any case, the defendant argues, the woman would have had enough space to drive past despite his stopping. “You never should have hit me.” Of the subsequent verbal outbursts, he doesn’t know “who made it up”.

Is it all just a “big misunderstanding”, “a completely normal rear-end collision”, in which “both made mistakes”? No, says the cyclist who was on her way to work that day. He drove past her “much too close” while she tried to keep her distance from the cars parked to the side. He actually had enough space. She was startled, gestured back and yelled at him – without insulting him. He then “torn” the steering wheel and braked “sharp”. “I couldn’t stop anymore.” She still remembers the man’s sentences mentioned in the indictment – “DrecksGrünenpack”.

She recorded them in a letter to the employer for the accident insurance. “I had the impression that there was a hatred of cyclists. I don’t understand it,” she says. “From my point of view, the emergency braking only served to harm me.”

Did the defendant really make an emergency stop? Did he drive in front of the cyclist in such a way that she had no chance of avoiding a collision? And did he intend to harm her? The defender sees these questions in contrast to the prosecutor not answered by the taking of evidence – especially since the judge previously issued a legal notice, according to which a conviction for negligent bodily harm is also an option. After a legal discussion, the parties therefore agree to continue the hearing on another day and to hear an expert.

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