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Lorry driver who killed Davide Rebellin failed to stop at scene of fatal collision because he didn’t think he was at fault, says brother

The motorist has continued to drive for his brother’s transport company in Germany following the crash that killed the retired Italian pro in November

The lorry driver who hit and killed the retired Italian classics star Davide Rebellin, before briefly looking at the cyclist and driving off, failed to stop at the scene because he didn’t believe that he was at fault for the fatal collision, according to the motorist’s brother.

An investigation carried out by the Italian news programme Le Iene also found that the German lorry driver, 62-year-old Wolfgang Rieke, has continued to work and drive for his brother’s haulage firm in Recke, North Rhine-Westphalia, since the tragic incident in November.

Rebellin, who retired at the end of last season at the age of 51 following three decades as a professional rider, had been on a training ride near his home in northern Italy on 30 November when he was struck and killed by the truck driver, who reportedly got out of his cab, looked at the victim, and then drove back home to Germany.

> Davide Rebellin killed in reported hit-and-run collision involving lorry driver

While Le Iene’s Alessandro De Giuseppe was unable to speak directly to the 62-year-old truck driver for the programme’s segment ‘Did the driver escape after the incident?’, Jürgen Rieke, the owner of the Rieke Transporte company, claimed that his brother was “convinced he had nothing to do with what happened”.

“My brother certainly didn’t want to do any harm intentionally, he was driving a highly technological vehicle which as soon as it turns shows the presence of cyclists and pedestrians,” Rieke said.

“If he stayed there for 10 seconds, it is because he was convinced he had nothing to do with what happened. At the moment he is shaken and the investigation is ongoing so he will not issue statements.

“He didn’t run away, he just left because he didn’t realize he was guilty,” he continued. “If in Italy the police had done their job and not the press, the matter would have already been clarified. Tell Rebellin’s family that we suffer greatly from what happened.”

> Internet troll who wrote “Run over one cyclist to educate 100” cleared by judge

The lorry driver, who was not placed under arrest after fleeing back to Germany, has two prior driving convictions in Italy.

The first of those relates to an incident in Foggia, Puglia, in 2001, in which he was subsequently convicted of fleeing the scene of a crash without stopping to give assistance to those involved in it.

The second incident, in 2014, saw him banned from driving after traffic police in Chieti, Abruzzo, found him drunk at the wheel of his lorry.

> I’m fortunate I can try to contemplate why a driver would knock me off my bike: Davide Rebellin didn’t get that chance

Also speaking to Le Iene, Rebellin’s brother Carlo discussed the effects of the former Gerolsteiner rider’s tragic death and its complicated aftermath on his family.

“Accidents can happen, but you can’t not help. My brother was treated like an object, no one even tried to apologise to us,” the 40-year-old said.

In the weeks after Rebellin’s death, the Italian professional cyclists’ union, the ACCPI, criticised what they regarded as a lack of action from the authorities.

“You can kill a cyclist, flee abroad driving your lorry and continue to live as though nothing happened,” the ACCPI said in December, “while the person you killed is still waiting for their autopsy and his devastated family has not yet been able to arrange his funeral.”

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 7 months ago

The driver has previous. Which not proof of guilt it is indicative. And anyway, why would you drive away from an incident if someone was in the road, obvioulsy critically injured, next to your vehicle. Why would you drive away? 

mt1138 | 7 months ago

This article needs to include the name of the hauliage firm so we can review bomb the murdering pyschopaths and hopefully ruin their business.

marmotte27 replied to mt1138 | 7 months ago

RTR (Rieke Transporte Recke) Speditionsgesellschaft. Many reviews that reference terrible "accidents"...

Fignon's ghost | 7 months ago

What a disgraceful human being.

Browsie replied to Fignon's ghost | 7 months ago

Yep! His brother is not much better either in my opinion!

belugabob | 7 months ago

Either completely impassionate, or totally guilty.
There seems to be no other explanation.

And his brother should never be allowed to run a transport company, ever again, following his pathetic excusing attitude.

AidanR | 7 months ago

I don't really care whether or not he thought he was at fault. What kind of person can look at a dying man and then simply drive away?

Jetmans Dad replied to AidanR | 7 months ago

AidanR wrote:

I don't really care whether or not he thought he was at fault. What kind of person can look at a dying man and then simply drive away?

Never mind whether you were at fault or not (or even involved) how could anyone see that and simply drive away?

Runtilyoudrop replied to AidanR | 7 months ago

A person trying to avoid a drunk driver manslaugher conviction?

jaymack replied to AidanR | 7 months ago

A shit that's who

brooksby | 7 months ago


The lorry driver ... failed to stop at the scene because he didn’t believe that he was at fault for the fatal collision

Very few motorists ever seem to think (acknowledge?) that they are at fault - does that mean they are all allowed to just drive off? 

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