2 Germans in Italy on trial for a deadly boat accident on Lake Garda

BRESCIA, Italy (AP) – Two German men were tried on Wednesday for manslaughter in connection with a boat collision on Lake Garda, Italy, in which two young Italians were killed who were also on the lake that night.

Patrick Kassen, who was allegedly at the wheel of the German motorboat during the June 19 incident, surrendered to the Italian authorities in July and is under house arrest in Italy. He was on trial on Wednesday, but his co-defendant, who remained free in Germany, was not.

The trial before the Tribunal in Brescia was adjourned to December 16 after about an hour, when the first witnesses were due to be heard.

The investigators assume that the German motorboat crashed into Umberto Garzarella’s and Greta Nedrotti’s smaller ship, allegedly after the two tourists from Munich had been drinking. Garzarella was found dead in the boat, while Nedrotti’s body was found two days later during a police search of the lake.

The Germans are accused of manslaughter and leaving the scene of the emergency. Kassen was quoted by Italian media as saying that he did not notice the boats collided. The tourists returned to Germany after the incident, but Kassen presented himself to authorities after learning that an arrest warrant had been issued.

Relatives of Garzarella and Nedrotti were in court for Wednesday’s hearing at which they heard Kassen apologize for the first time. Nedrotti’s relatives carried 25 white roses, one for each of their 25 years.

Nedrotti’s mother Nadia said although accidents can happen, the two Germans should have stopped. “If you are backing up and you hit a wall, stop and see what you did. It was a lot worse, ”she said. “They left and went on partying like nothing had happened.”

German insurers have paid the families nearly € 3 million in total, but Garzarella’s father said no amount of money can bring his son back.

“Even if I got insurance money, what should I do with it? Where is my well-being, my name, my future? ”Asked Enzo Garzarella. “The name Garzarella no longer exists. How am I supposed to go on living? I’m dead.”

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Nicole Winfield contributed from Rome.

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