Driver Who Plowed Into Parade Jailed on 177 Counts

Germany's Maurice P., convicted of 89 counts of attempted murder, receives life sentence
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 24, 2020 12:43 PM CST
Updated Dec 16, 2021 8:26 AM CST
Driver Plows Into German Parade; Dozens Injured
Police and rescue workers at the scene of the accident.   (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)

(Newser) Update: The man who plowed his vehicle into a parade in Germany in February 2020 received a life sentence Thursday for 89 counts of attempted murder. Identified as 31-year-old Maurice P., he was also convicted of 88 counts of grievous bodily harm at a trial that began in May, reports AFP. His vehicle traveled 42 yards into the crowd in Volkmarsen, sending bodies flying while dragging others. Witnesses seized him before police arrived. Prosecutors said he'd accelerated, intending to kill a "large number of people." They also said he'd parked his vehicle in a strategic spot the day before the rampage and installed a dashcam, indicating premeditation. Evidence suggested he suffered from paranoia and schizophrenia. Our original story from Feb. 24, 2020 follows:

A man intentionally drove a car into a crowd of people at a Carnival parade in a small town in central Germany, injuring dozens of people including children, police said Monday. The driver was arrested, but police couldn't immediately provide details about the man's motivations for crashing into the celebrations in Volkmarsen, about 175 miles southwest of Berlin, per the AP. "We are working on the assumption that it was a deliberate act," police spokesman Henning Hinn said. Some of the injuries were life-threatening, he said. Witnesses said the car drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the parade, according to the paper.

Video from the scene showed a silver Mercedes station wagon with local license plates on a sidewalk, its front windshield badly smashed and hood dented, and its hazard lights blinking, while emergency crews walked by. Forensic experts could be seen taking photos and measurements around the crashed car, walking around fragments of Carnival costumes that littered the ground. The crash came amid the height of Germany's celebration of Carnival, with the biggest parades in Cologne, Duesseldorf, and Mainz. Police in Western Hesse state tweeted that all other Carnival parades in the state Monday were ended after the crash as a precaution.

(Read more Germany stories.)

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