Strépy-Bracquegnies: Experts will examine the car with a fine toothcomb
The Judicial Authorities are hoping that an examination of the car that was driven into a group of people in the Hainaut village of Stépy-Bracquenies early on Sunday morning will help shed light on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. The Mons Chief Prosecutor Ignacio de la Serna told VRT News that experts will examine the car with a fine toothcomb.
The examination of the vehicle got under way on Monday morning. The experts examining the vehicle will be particularly interested to learn whether it is fitted with an anti-collision device and if this is the case whether the device had been deactivated. Mr De la Serna told the Francophone commercial broadcaster RTL that "It's a fairly new vehicle and it (an anti-collision device) would be able to explain a lot of things”.
Given the speed and the apparent failure to brake. Prosecutors have asked the Examining Magistrate to treat the case as a murder investigation. If this request is upheld the accused will face a trial by jury at the Court of Assizes and if convicted “very heavy penalties” the Mons Public Prosecutor says.
"The two men arrested were returning from a night club"
“We have information that these are people who like cars, particularly fast cars. In 2017, one of them had his driving licence withdrawn but he took a second driving test afterwards. We have a precise idea of who was driving, but we are checking if there was not a last-minute switch, as the vehicle stopped a little further on", Mr de la Serna added.
The Public Prosecutor says that one of the two men tested positive for alcohol. However, this was not the person claiming to be the driver. The results of blood tests on samples taken from the suspects will also look for the presence of other drugs.
The suspects, aged 32 and 34, are from La Louvière and are cousins. They are reported to have been returning from a nightclub and had dropped off a young woman at her home just before the collision with the members of the carnival group.