The judge ruled that the truckdriver was responsible for running down the boy in Aalst (East Flanders) in December 2019. The judge said the truckdriver was particularly inattentive and he could have avoided the boy’s death.
“The driver was familiar with the area around the factory where the collision occurred and should have been more attentive. He should have seen the boy and his family and should have indicated the manoeuvre he executed,” said the judge.
The judge also acknowledged that the driver had shown remorse and was aware of his guilt triggering what could be seen by some as a mild sentence. “He was very moved by the accident, and this is taken into account in the sentence” the judge added.
The boy was making his way to school with his mother and other children. He was dead at the scene. The incident was witnessed by his mother. The boy’s death moved the entire town, and it fuelled a lot of anger.
The Tereos factory, where the collision occurred, is in the centre of Aalst. Thousands of children pass by it on their way to school every day. There have been calls for changes to be made. The fence around the factory has been renovated and entries have been reduced to one. Trucks weighing 7.5 tons and more are no longer allowed in town at the start and end of the school day.