Alcohol Was the Cause in Joerg Haider's Accident
For those of you that don't know, a couple of days ago, Joerg Haider crashed his brand new Volkswagen Phaeton, crashing and turning over a few times after overtaking another car on the road. His successor, Stefan Petzner, who took over his position at the head of the Alliance for the Future of Austria, declared in a statement “It is true that governor Joerg Haider had 1.8 grammes of alcohol in his blood at the time of the accident”.
In Austria, the legal limit is 0.5 grams of alcohol per litre of blood. That, coupled with excessive speed (over twice the legal limit of 70 km/h) led to the fatal crash, which caused significant injuries to Haider's head, back and chest. He was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.
Reports say that he had just come out of a club in Carinthia province and was heading to his home in Baerental where he was supposed to celebrate his mother's 90th birthday. Initial reports said the car flipped over due to a mechanical malfunction, but that was quickly ruled out.
Having made these revelations, Petzner continued with asking the press to stop investigating the incident and to respect the privacy of the grieving family. The procession and memorial services will take place in Klagenfurt on Saturday.
Haider was a controversial figure on the Austrian political stage, having made some very malicious comments which were compared at the time with Nazi views. Still, he was considered very influential in his home country, especially in the right wing parties, where he could easily sway opinion. Even his adversaries regarded him as a political-savvy individual.