The Accident on the Bundesautobahn 5 occurred on July 14, 2003 close to Karlsruhe, Germany, when a young mother lost control of her car on Bundesautobahn 5 and collided with a tree. The 21-year-old woman and her two-year-old daughter died at the scene. The accident and the following judicial proceeding received nationwide attention after eyewitnesses stated that another vehicle had closed the gap to her from behind with excessive speed and caused the accident. The case was known in the media as Autobahnraser-Fall and sparked a debate about setting a general speed limit on German motorways, which are generally without a legally mandated limit.
On July 14, 2003 around 6 a.m., a 21-year-old woman was travelling with her two-year-old daughter on the Autobahn 5 from Karlsruhe towards Frankfurt am Main. A short distance before Bruchsal, she lost control of her car, a small Kia, left the road to the right and crashed into trees behind the traffic barrier. Although the Autobahnpolizei, paramedics, an emergency physician and Feuerwehr arrived shortly after, they were not able to rescue the victims; both had died instantly as a result of the collision. Eyewitnesses driving in the same direction reported to police that a dark coloured vehicle, possibly a Mercedes-Benz, had approached the woman's subcompact car with high speed without keeping safety distance, which is mandatory in Germany at higher speeds. Expert evidence later stated this was causal for the woman's driving mistake, as she likely jerked her steering wheel in panic, trying to avoid a rear-end collision.
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