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    Tram driver not indicted for manslaughter

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    The La Dernière Heure newspaper reported on Friday that a fatal accident took place between a 50-year-old cyclist and a tram last Wednesday shortly before 5:00 pm. The accident happened on the number 7 Stib line going towards Montgomery, on Boulevard General Jacques, just near Etterbeek station. The investigating judge announced, via a spokesman for Brussels public prosecutor’s office, that no charge for manslaughter would be filed and that the tram driver was in no was at fault. The driver was, however, suspended on Thursday and will be dismissed after police discovered he was driving under the influence of cannabis, added a Stib spokesperson. The cyclist died on the night of the accident.

    A spokesperson for Brussels public prosecutor confirmed that drug and alcohol tests were requested.  The spokesperson did not, however, either confirm or deny that the driver was under the influence of cannabis when the accident happened.  The public prosecutor’s department is currently declining to comment on this particular point.

    The driver is aged around thirty years and has worked for the Stib for several years.  Until the accident he had a perfectly clean record. “Regardless of the accident, if the driver had been found to be driving under the influence of cannabis, he would have been dismissed,” said the public transport company spokesman.

    As to the circumstances of the accident, he explained that the tram was pulling away from a stop and consequently picking up speed.  The driver had warned the cyclist on the upcoming pedestrian crossing by twice sounding the horn.  The tram was forced to make an emergency stop and the cyclist is also believed to have braked sharply.

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)