A man who was arrested after fleeing the scene of a huge, fatal collision involving several vehicles on the E18 highway west of Oslo on Thursday has been charged with negligent homicide and smuggling. One person was killed, several badly injured and the busy highway was closed for more than half the day.
Police said the defendant is a 41-year-old man from Poland who lives in Oslo. The van he was driving was packed with cases of beer and liquor, which police later said amounted to 1,000 liters of beer and 100 liters of spirits.
The sheer quantity has also resulted in smuggling charges against the man, who was further charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
He faces a custody hearing on Friday, at which prosecutors said they will ask that he be held for at least four weeks. He was seen running away from the accident scene early Thursday morning and was arrested around an hour later outside the Liertoppen shopping center, not far away.
Arne Lauvålien of the local sheriff’s office, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that the cargo of beer and liquor he was carrying at 6:30 in the morning will be investigated to determine its origins. The hit and run aspect of the case also figures into the charges against him.
Investigators spent hours examining the scene of the collision to determine the chain of events and secure evidence. The highway reopened Thursday afternoon but police reduced the speed limit from 100 to 70 kilometers per hour past the scene of the accident because the barrier separating the four-lane divided highway was destroyed during the collision and hadn’t been replaced. Traffic delays continued throughout the day.
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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