The terrible crash between Fabio Jakobsen and Dylan Groenewegen on Wednesday in the Tour of Poland went and goes all over the world. If it is up to Jacob’s team Deceuninck-Quick-Step, a lawsuit will follow against Groenewegen. What are the chances that it will actually lead to criminal prosecution?
In any case, everything is being done to map the situation as well as possible: according to Polish media, Jakobsen’s bicycle has been seized by the police and a trace investigation was carried out on the spot of the crash on Wednesday evening.
“But the question is whether it can really come to a lawsuit. Polish criminal law applies and I am not an expert on that,” admits lawyer Marjan Olfers in conversation with NU.nl. She can place the case along the bar of the Dutch legal system.
“It seldom happens with us that these kinds of cases come under criminal law. It is often difficult in sports to reach a conviction along criminal norms – for example, whether there was intent or conditional intent? -” she says.
“In such cases, sports disciplinary law is more often looked at to determine whether a standard has been violated. If the answer is yes, you can be suspended. But that is not yet criminal law, where you can receive community service, for example.”
For the app users: tap the tweet to watch a video of the crash.
“Liability law is difficult”
In addition to criminal law and sports disciplinary law, there is also liability law, which looks at who pays the damage. “That is difficult between two cyclists, because you can expect certain behaviors from each other,” said Olfers.
“It often happens that you hand out a shoulder push or deviate from your line, so cycling experts should take a look at this. Furthermore, it must be checked whether the organization has complied with all safety rules.”
“I take Groenewegen to court,” announced sports director Patrick Lefevere of Deceuninck-Quick-Step. But it remains to be seen whether his intention is feasible. “All in all it is very complex and really not that easy. You don’t just have a lawsuit,” said Olfers.
Jakobsen has been in hospital since the crash, where he had a five-hour operation on the night from Wednesday to Thursday. His situation is serious, but stable. Groenewegen has been put off course.