The incident happened at 3:25AM. It was just past 3AM when police noticed the vehicle driving against the traffic on the ring at Nijvel. The van turned in its tracks with police in hot pursuit. Just ahead of the Vilvoorde Viaduct the van tried to ram the police vehicle. The minivan then hit the crush barriers and crashed into the central reservation before ending up against a tree.
In addition to the three people fighting for their lives, two people sustained serious injuries and ten others suffered light injuries. The injured were ferried to five different hospitals. Police are now establishing the identity of those in the van that was driving with German number plates. Nobody in the van had any identity papers.
The van advertised a construction firm from Zwijnaarde (East Flanders) but had foreign plates. The firm says that the vehicle was sold last year.
Two of the three lanes on the ring had to be closed triggering travel chaos for commuters. It was only after several hours that the two lanes could be freed up.