When most people think about impaired driving, their minds immediately go to alcohol or substance abuse…maybe even being overly tired. However, driving while emotionally unstable can be just as dangerous.
Graz, Austria faced a tragedy this last Saturday. The man, described as a “mentally disoriented” 26 year old trucker driver, drove his SUV into a crowd of people. According to witnesses people were sent flying after the man randomly steered his car (at high speeds) into the crowd.
Responders were quickly at the scene – including sixty ambulances and four helicopters.
There was no indication that he was acting in accordance with any terrorist group, but the amount of damage done in the incident was catastrophic. Three people were killed and thirty-four others were injured. Of those injured, six were in critical condition and of those six, two were children.
Officials arrested him after the incident and brought him in for psychological evaluation. Josef Klamminger, police commander, disclosed that the man received a restraining order after a domestic violence report was filed against him last month. The order kept him away from his wife and two children.
The whole city has rallied to show their support and sympathies. Before long the site of the accident was sprayed with memorial candles and floral monuments. Street festivals and city events have been cancelled by Mayor Siegfried Nagl and all municipal buildings are flying black flags of mourning.
If you’ve had a bad day/week/year…do everyone a favour and don’t get behind a wheel. Emotionally impaired is driving impaired.
Thoughts and well wishes go out to the victims and their families in this hard time.