Motorcyclist died trying to stop killer

People gather at a memorial at the 'Promenade des Anglais' where the truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations, in Nice, France, on July 16.
People gather at a memorial at the 'Promenade des Anglais' where the truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations, in Nice, France, on July 16. PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN • A German journalist who witnessed the Nice attack said he saw a motorcyclist chase the killer truck and try to enter the cabin but he fell and ended up under the wheels.

"I stood on the balcony, right on the Promenade des Anglais, and saw how people celebrated there, and how suddenly a truck drove through the crowd," Mr Richard Gutjahr, 42, who had shot video footage of the bloody Bastille Day rampage with his smartphone, said yesterday.

"Surprisingly, he drove very slowly, not fast. He drove slowly and he was chased by a motorcyclist," recounted Mr Gutjahr by telephone. "The motorcyclist attempted to overtake the truck and even tried to open the driver's door, but he fell and ended up under the wheels of the truck."

Mr Gutjahr, a freelance journalist, said he also saw two police officers open fire on the truck.

"Then the driver stepped on the accelerator and the truck sped up, accelerated and drove in a zig-zag course into the crowd," he added.

"In the next 15 to 20 seconds, there were shots from several guns. I don't know who shot at whom. After that, the panicked crowd ran in all directions...

"Right afterwards, I personally saw 12 dead bodies, and it was already clear there would be more."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'Motorcyclist died trying to stop killer'. Print Edition | Subscribe