Crash of the Year
New Penalties Facing Church Roof Flier?
In January, David E. managed to drive his station wagon into the roof of a church 23 meters off the ground. Now, he may be in trouble again. For a television re-enactment, he got behind the wheel of a car -- possibly in violation of his driver's license suspension.
Now, the end of his year isn't looking so hot for David, either. Following a television appearance last week, during which E. talked about the crash publicly for the first time, he could be facing further penalties. The show included a re-enactment of the crash -- and depicted E. sitting in the driver's seat of a car. Police are now trying to determine whether E. drove for the TV cameras despite having a suspended license.
"We have ordered a video from the television station," a police spokesman told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "We will then take a look at it to see if he violated his suspension."
The police may also investigate the television station, RTL -- and its host, famous German television personality Günther Jauch -- to determine whether it is guilty of inciting E. to violate the terms of his license suspension. The police declined to say what additional penalties could be facing E. were it determined that he drove on the show.
'I Just Wanted to Get Something Real Quick'
The January accident was singularly spectacular. E. was speeding through the middle of the small, eastern-German town of Limbach-Oberfrohna at three times the legal limit (139 kilometers per hour/86 miles per hour) when he lost control of his vehicle. His car hit an embankment on the side of the road and proceeded to fly 35 meters (115 feet) through the air before crashing into the village church.
Tests revealed that E. had been drinking prior to the accident. On television, he said "my girlfriend was in the hospital, I just wanted to get something real quick."
Instead, he ended up trapped in his car with multiple broken bones high off the ground. E., who has since recovered from his injuries, rapidly became something of a local folk hero for his unintended exploits. T-shirts, mugs and postcards of the incident quickly appeared as did a song.
E. told TV viewers that his mother drove him to the studio for the show. RTL insists that he didn't drive for the re-enactment.