“What we don’t understand is that people are so apathetic”

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Created: 05/12/2022 07:46 am

Von: Sabine Schramek


A couple immediately helped after the tragic car accident on the A3, in which a first responder died and eleven other people were injured, some seriously.

Frankfurt – The images that Beate and Dirk Brüggemeier have in mind from Hofheim will haunt them for a long time. They were returning from a wedding “after a nice day” when they saw metal parts on the A3 near the airport. “Cars just kept driving in front of us – in a slalom for the parts,” recalls the woman who was behind the wheel. Her husband wanted to get out immediately, she held him back until she checked the situation at walking pace and turned the car sideways to be able to slow down “slalom drivers”.

“There was a car, completely broken. A woman next to it. Seriously injured, there was blood everywhere. She was approachable,” reports Dirk Brüggemeier, who is a first aider in his job with an airline and refreshes his first aid training every 1.5 years . “Nevertheless, I was overwhelmed. She had pain in her back and neck, I leaned the woman, who was shaking and in shock, against the car with another man who had a head injury and came running at the same time so that they could lean I held her by the side, talked to her, calmed her down.”

Fatal accident on the A3: “No one from the other cars came to help”

The other man ran on, discovered another seriously injured person at the guardrail, who died shortly thereafter. The police later reported that the dead man was also a first responder. “It happened so fast, it felt like an eternity. Nobody from the other cars came to help,” says Dirk Brüggemeier. His wife Beate, who works in therapy and teaches non-violent communication, got gloves out of the first-aid box and yelled for a blanket for the freezing woman. Nobody helped. “So I emptied a faux down bag I had from the wedding and warmed it up,” she says, still shocked.

“It felt like an eternity”: accident first responders Dirk and Beate Brüggemeier from Hofheim. © Maik Reuss

A man wearing a police vest got out of a car. “He stopped the drivers who wanted to drive on. They still wanted to drive through,” she says, stunned. “At the moment I didn’t understand where he got the vest from. It was like in a crime thriller, but he stopped the traffic.” The couple later learned it was a police officer who was traveling privately, but who intervened immediately upon seeing the tragedy.

Accident on the A3 at Frankfurt Airport: praise for the rescue workers

The rescue workers came quickly. “Ambulance, THW, fire brigade and police were there in ten minutes. Nevertheless, it seemed endless until they got there,” said the two courageous helpers. “Hats off how coordinated, quick and calm they got the picture, how they took care of the injured.”

Dirk Brüggemeier stayed with the injured woman, who was immediately treated by an ambulance. “She was worried about her husband and their dogs, who were still in the car. I didn’t realize that there was someone else in the wrecked vehicle. The fire brigade helped, I held the IV for the woman from the ambulance and breathed with her, when she got oxygen.”

First responders in a fatal accident in Frankfurt: “What we don’t understand is that people are so listless”

The memories of Beate and Dirk Brüggemeier overturn. “The worst thing was that none of the drivers helped. We blame ourselves for not being able to do more.” The police helped you. “They asked if we could drive and said that we could call in at any time if the shock came.” The shock came after waking up. “I had the pictures in my mind and cried. My husband cried when he saw me. So we called. An hour later three police officers and two chaplains were with us. That was perfect and helped us so much. Above all a police officer was able to explain to us objectively what had happened and worked through our emotions with us in a very empathetic manner.”

According to police reports, there was a rear-end collision between a VW transporter and a Seat at 4:30 a.m. Another vehicle stopped on the hard shoulder. Its inmates rushed to help. Another vehicle then drove into the scene of the accident.

Shortly thereafter, the Brüggemeiers passed the scene. It is clear to them that they would help again at any time. “What we don’t understand is that people are so listless, so cold,” says Dirk Brüggemeier. “Anyone who puts themselves in the position of an injured person for just a moment knows that anything helps. Talk, hold hands, be there. The main thing is something. If you’re afraid of blood or of doing something wrong, you can already show empathy Help people.” (Sabine Schramek)

wanted witnesses

The police are also looking for a small car, presumably a red Smart with a black roof. He is said to have captured the first responder who later died, but continued to drive. Please contact the Frankfurt police motorway station on (069) 755 46400 for information.