Bonn On Tuesday evening, a vigil took place in downtown Bonn for the 25-year-old cyclist, who was fatally injured in an accident with a truck on Monday. The ADFC had organised this.
A big mourning wreath, many white roses and white candles stand at the roadside of the Heinrich-Böll-Ring. More than 120 people, mostly dressed in white and silent, gathered on the adjacent parking lot of a car dealership on Tuesday evening. Annette Quaedvlieg, Chairwoman of the Bonner Kreisverband des Allgemeinen Deutschen Fahrrad-Clubs (ADFC)was also standing on the sidelines and shaking her head. "We are stunned and sad. Such accidents are avoidable", said Quaedvlieg. More flowers and candles are being laid down.
The ADFC had organised the vigil to commemorate the cyclist who died in an accident on Monday morning. The 25-year-old was hit by a truck at the Bornheimer Straße/Heinrich-Böll-Ring junction and seriously injured. The young woman died shortly after she was admitted to the university hospital in Bonn. On Tuesday, police spokesman Simon Rott was unable to provide any new information on the course of the accident in response to a GA request, as the responsible authorities were still in the middle of the investigation.
"The city of Bonn is deeply affected by the fatal accident. Nevertheless, it is now a matter of analysing the accident in detail in order to draw the right conclusions and take the right measures," explained Markus Schmitz of the municipal press office. According to the city, the site of the accident is not a site where accidents accumulate. The accident of Monday is to be discussed in the coming meeting of the accident commission on 27 June. Werner Böttcher, transport policy spokesman for the ADFC, repeated the ADFC demand at the scene of the accident that the city should now retrofit all its large vehicles with turn assistants.
Among the mourners were several first-aiders. As reported, a first-aider on Monday complained to the GA that witnesses were unwilling to help. Various first-aiders contradicted this statement. "Quite the opposite: many people rushed to the woman who had been injured and helped her. It is simply not true that nobody helped," said a first-aider who works in an office near the scene of the accident. She and one of her colleagues reported about a helper who had organized first aid. "He wanted to know our first names, reminded us all that we should also put on disposable gloves. He radiated an unbelievable peace, that was very important," said the young woman.
However, the first-aider can confirm that there were unpleasant moments with other drivers at the scene of the accident. "Some honked because they couldn’t pass the scene of the accident. That was unbelievable," reported the first aider.
Accidents like the one on Monday happen again and again on German roads. In many cases these end fatally for the cyclists or pedestrians. According to the police, five accidents between cyclists and turning trucks occurred in Bonn between January 2017 and June 2, 2019. "Five cyclists were slightly injured in these accidents," said police spokesman Rott.
Turning assistants, which can be permanently installed in trucks and buses, can minimise the risk of such accidents. The Bonn waste management company Bonnorange has so far had three garbage trucks equipped with a turn assistant. "Vehicles that are replaced and newly procured in our plant are equipped directly with the turn assistant," explained Jasmin Mangold of Bonnorange. Eleven further vehicles are currently being procured, all of which will have a turn assistant. Retrofitting the rest of the fleet is not easy. The costs are high and the installation is costly, in addition the quality cannot be reached, which is guaranteed in new vehicles, so Mangold. Bonnorange had therefore decided to gradually replace the vehicle fleet with new ones, so that the turn assistants would then be installed as standard in all vehicles.
(Original text: Maximilian Mühlens, Translation: Mareike Graepel)