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Swedish man dead in US airport car crash

Clara Guibourg · 26 Feb 2012, 10:36

Published: 26 Feb 2012 10:36 GMT+01:00

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The Swede, a 24-year-old man, was a flight school student, as were the car's three other passengers, who all survived the crash.

Driving around on the airport runway, the driver lost control of his BMW.

The car crashed through a fence, and likely rolled over at least once before plunging straight into the canal that runs perpendicular to the end of the runway.

“Three people were able to escape from the canal and one occupant is still missing,” said Tracy police sergeant Luis Mejia to TV station CBS.

The three rescued men were pulled from the water, according to dispatch records.

The victim however, was trapped in the backseat, reported local newspaper Tracy Press.

"We suspect that his body has been carried away by the strong current. We can't find him," said Tracy police sergeant Tony Sheneman to newspaper Aftonbladet.

The three other passengers were also Swedes. The driver, a man in his thirties, is now suspected of manslaughter, and Tracy police have taken a blood test from him to judge whether or not alcohol was involved in the crash.

"He's is custody," confirmed Camilla Åkesson Lindblom, press secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, to Aftonbladet.

Story continues below…

The suspect risks up to three years in prison.

"They were driving at high speed on the runway. The driver told me that he'd lift his foot from the pedal, but the car continued straight ahead, down into the canal," said sergeant Tony Sheneman to Aftonbladet.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

11:27 February 26, 2012 by johan rebel
"as WAS the car's three other passengers,"

The victim was trapped in the rear seat, yet his body was carried away by the current?!?

Always handy to have a canal running perpendicular to the end of the runway. If an aircraft taking off or landing overruns, the canal will be sure to bring it to a sudden and drastic stop, most likely with fatal consequences for those on board.
12:44 February 26, 2012 by StockholmSam
@johan rebel

Your correction is grammatically incorrect.
13:10 February 26, 2012 by Ham
Som Gunnar sade: hoppas att du sitter i en bar nånstans och kan inte nås på mobilen då du saknas. Känns helt otroligt gode vän. Hade hoppats på en återförening när jag väl blivit klar med min PPL där vi kunde sjunga alouette igen. Mina tankar går till dina nära och kära.

Vila i frid Mikael!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
13:26 February 26, 2012 by HYBRED
The driver of the car was Eric Rode Olsen.
01:42 February 27, 2012 by Cakid
The California newspaper, the Oakland Tribune, states they were racing late at night, drove through a fence, over a levee, and then launched into the canal. Reckless behavoir leading to sad, tragic results.
20:31 February 27, 2012 by planet.sweden
It sounds like the Swedish male driver in his thirties was trying to drive around the airport the way most Swedish men try to drive around Stockholm, namely extremely recklessly without any regard for road conditions, or the potential danger to themselves and others.

I'd like to see the Swedish driving test made far tougher, and more life time bans for the selfish idiots who persist in being aggressive and dangerous.
10:20 February 28, 2012 by cattie
The Swedish driving test is rigorous, far more rigorous than a California driving test. This was a question of attitudes, not driving skill.

The attitude some people get when they go aboard that suddenly, rules no longer apply. Sadly, I saw it when I worked in an international student office in California where young adults got into ridiculous and sometime life-changing circumstances because they let caution fly to the wind while aboard. One of our more bright German grad students died one a "road trip" to Vegas, treating the I-15 like it was the autobahn (it's not).

This is especially risky in a place like California where they "think" they know what to expect, but their are many hidden hazards to the ignorant and unwary.

At night, in Tracy, California, it would be VERY very dark at that airport. A driver thinking he has lots of open runway to speed on would be over the Levee before he even saw it because of the darkness.
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