The truck that plowed into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12, came to a halt due an automatic braking system, according to German media reports on Wednesday.
The automatic braking system potentially saved the lives of many more people in the recent terrorist attack.
Tunisian Anis Amri was killed by police in Milan after fleeing Germany
An investigation by newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and broadcasters “NDR” and “WDR” found the Scania R 450 semi-trailer stopped after between 70 and 80 meters (250 feet). The system was reportedly engaged after sensing a collision.
Previous reports speculated that the truck had driven erratically and stopped due to the heroic actions of the truck’s Polish driver, who lay fatally wounded in the cabin.
More than 80 people were killed in a similar attack on Bastille Day in Nice, when a 19 ton Renault Midlum truck was deliberately and repeatedly driven into crowds.
In 2012 the European Union adopted regulations requiring all new trucks exceeding 3,500 kilograms be fitted with advanced emergency braking systems. The systems initially alert drivers and then take evasive action.
The regulation was adopted to reduce the number of rear end collisions by trucks.
The alleged hijacker fled from the scene after driving just 70 to 80 meters (250 feet)
The Tunisian hijacker Anis Amri allegedly rammed the truck into the Christmas market near the iconic Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at around 8:30 p.m. local time as locals and tourists gathered to enjoy the evening.
The attack wounded 48 people. Six Germans were killed in the attack as well as people from the Czech Republic, Italy, and Israel.
The truck had Polish license plates and was carrying steel beams.
Amri fled the scene and was later shot dead by police in the northern Italian city of Milan days later.
German police today arrested a 40-year-old Tunisian man on Wednesday suspicion of being an accomplice in the attack, which was claimed by the so-called “Islamic State.”
Local media also reported that Amri had sent a selfie and the message “pray for me my brother” from inside the truck just minutes before the attack.
aw/kms (AFP, dpa)