UPDATED: The German driver of a bus carrying Swiss tourists claims he doesn’t remember a thing about swerving off the E6 highway on Tuesday and crashing into a mountainside. “He says he has what we call a total blackout,” his defense attorney Siw Bleikvassli told state broadcaster NRK on Thursday.
He has remained in the hospital in Namsos since the accident that left four passengers dead and several others injured. All the survivors have since been flown home to Switzerland after emergency treatment in Norway.
Police, who had to use an interpreter while questioning the driver, confirmed he will also be allowed to leave Norway even though he faces charges of reckless driving in Norway. Bleikvassli said he was plagued by the situation and had been thinking about all involved. “He’s thinking first and foremost about the passengers, the injured and those who lost loved ones,” she said. NRK reported that two of the survivors lost their spouses and one lost a sister.
Bleikvassli said the driver didn’t remember anything about the time leading up to the accident, when other motorists have said the bus suddenly started driving in a “zig-zag” pattern on the newly paved highway before running off it. Nor could he recall the actual crash or the time since. Police and state accident investigators continue to examine the bus and already have noted that several of the passengers were not wearing seat belts when the crash occurred. Some were thrown out of the bus through shattered windows, and two who landed under the bus were among those killed. The investigators later were unable to find any technical problems with the bus itself.