Couple deny hit-and-run charges

Bookmark and Share

UPDATED: A man and a woman in their 40s who were arrested and charged in a hit-and-run drama that has topped Norwegian newscasts since the weekend have both denied guilt in the case. Their car has been seized, and police still believe it is the one that hit 12-year-old Olav Hovda while he was out roller-skiing with his father Friday evening.

Police confirmed Tuesday night that both the man and the woman live in Klepp, the town south of Stavanger on Norway’s west coast where the accident occurred. Neither reported themselves to police, and they were instead tracked down and arrested at around 5:30pm on Tuesday, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Both were taken in for questioning which continued late into Tuesday night. Police told reporters at that time that it was too early in their investigation to reveal much information, or say what led them to the couple.

“We have made a few seizures at their residence and in their car,” said police attorney Anbjørg Ingebrigtsen.

Car found at a repair shop
On Wednesday police told reporters that the car, a Ford Focus station wagon, was found at a repair shop “in the district” although they wouldn’t identify which one. “We believe we have the right car, and that technical evidence ties it to the case,” said Ingebrigtsen.

NRK reported that neither of the two defendants, who are married, will admit to having driven the car. One of them owns the car, according to Ingebrigtsen, and NRK reported that it is registered in the woman’s name. The website for local newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad reported that the car had been taken in for repairs to replace its windshield.

Both the man and the woman are charged with negligent homicide involving a vehicle and face six years in prison. Police had not yet decided whether to ask a court to keep the couple in remand custody while they continue their investigation. The man’s defense attorney, Anne Kroken, confirmed that her 43-year-old client denies the negligence charges against him. The woman’s defense attorney had not met his client as of Wednesday morning and had no immediate comment.

More tips welcome
The hit-and-run case has received massive media coverage not just in the Stavanger area but nationwide, especially after the young victim died the day after he was hit by a car while out roller-skiing, even though both he and his father were wearing reflective clothing. The driver of the car that hit him and threw the 12-year-old into the air sped off without stopping.

Police have since been working with an expanded force to find the hit-and-run driver, even going door-to-door in the hopes of getting more information. More than 400 tips had come in to police as of Monday night and on Wednesday Kyllingstad said police were still welcoming tips from the public.

“We hope we’re close to finding out what happened in this case,” Ane Mari Braut Nese, the mayor of Klepp, told reporters after a police press conference Tuesday night. “This is a terrible case that has concerned the entire town, so it will be good to get some answers.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

Please support our news service. Readers in Norway can use our donor account. Our international readers can click on our “Donate” button: