Man charged over Copenhagen police officer death in bridge crash

A 25-year-old man faces criminal charges after a police officer was killed in a traffic accident on the Langebro bridge in Copenhagen earlier this week.

Man charged over Copenhagen police officer death in bridge crash
Emergency services at the scene of the accident on Langebro. Photo: / Ritzau Scanpix

The 25-year-old, who is suspected of aggravated manslaughter, caused the death of the 35-year-old police officer by driving dangerously, according to the police charge sheet.

He is accused of putting lives in danger through gross recklessness behind the wheel. He denies the charges.

The judge found evidence presented by the police prosecutor convincing enough to remand the 25-year-old in custody for four weeks, Ritzau writes.

The preliminary hearing, which took place on Tuesday, was conducted behind closed doors, with judge Karen Duus Mathiesen citing the early stage of police investigations and potential additional suspects in the case.

The fatal accident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, when six or seven cars were involved in a collision on Langebro, which connects central Copenhagen with the Amager island district.

Copenhagen’s fire service, Hovedstadens Beredskab, said in its report of the crash that several people were injured in the accident and hydraulic equipment was used to free one person from the wreckage.

Although the 35-year-old officer was on duty at the time of the accident, his involvement was not directly connected to his work, Copenhagen Police have confirmed.

“He was a popular colleague and will be greatly missed at Copenhagen Police. My thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his loved ones,” chief superintendent Jørgen Bergen Skov confirmed in a Copenhagen Police press statement on Tuesday.

No detail was given as to the nature of the reckless driving during the initial court proceedings on Tuesday, but charges of this type are usually related to driving at extremely high speeds, Ritzau writes.

Two brothers to the accused were present at the court and said the accident was “an unfortunate situation, and we send our condolences to the family of the deceased,” the news agency reports.

READ ALSO: Police officer killed in accident on central Copenhagen bridge

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Copenhagen to miss 2025 zero emissions target

Copenhagen will not reach its longstanding target of becoming CO2 emissions neutral by 2025.

Cyclists on Copenhagen's
Cyclists on Copenhagen's "Lille Langebro" bridge. The Danish capital has admitted to errors in emissions calculations and says it won't be climate neutral in 2025, a long-standing target. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

A city councillor told newspaper Jyllands-Posten that the city, which has long stated its aim of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital, would not meet that target as scheduled.

“I won’t need to stand there in 2025 and say ‘hurrah, we’re CO2 neutral’, because I know that CO2 will still be emitted (then),” elected representative Ninna Hedeager Olsen of the Copenhagen Municipality environment section told Jyllands-Posten.

Tourist board Visit Denmark has previously used the emissions goal to market the city, while Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen named the target during the C40 climate summit when it was hosted by Copenhagen in 2019.

But the municipality has included wind energy produced in other municipalities in its calculations on energy sustainability, according to the newspaper report.

This means it effectively still emits CO2 overall.

The company which supplies energy to the city, Hofor, has erected windmills in a number of municipalities outside of Copenhagen. But the electricity produced by these windmills has been used in calculations of CO2 emissions in both Copenhagen and in the municipalities in which the windmills are actually located.

The replication of the energy production in data for different locations can “rightly” be said to be “cheating the scales”, according to Hedeager Olsen.

But that is not the only problem in calculations of the city’s emissions, she also admitted.

“There are loads of things that haven’t been counted,” she said.

The goal to become climate neutral by 2025 was first set by the city in 2012 in a climate plan adopted by the city government.

Copenhagen was the following year awarded the Cities Climate Leadership award for the plan.