APELDOORN, Netherlands – A Dutch driver careened through police barriers and plowed into a crowd of merrymakers cheering their popular queen Thursday, in a premeditated assault on the royal family that killed five bystanders and injured 12, authorities said.
The speeding car, already dented apparently from catapulting bystanders into the air, passed within a few meters (yards) of the open-topped bus carrying Queen Beatrix and her family down a parade route, then smashed into a stone monument.
"I think that it has become clear that this happened with premeditation," Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said. Prosecutors said the driver, badly injured and still in his crumpled car, acknowledged targeting the queen and her family.
"The man said that his action was aimed at the royal family," said prosecutor Ludo Goossens. The driver, whose name was not released, "is formally suspected of ... an attack on members of the royal house and manslaughter or murder," Goossens said, and he could face life in prison.
The motive for the attack was unclear. Dutch media, citing neighbors, said the assailant recently was fired from his job and was to be evicted from his home. Police identified him as a 38-year-old Dutch man with no history of mental illness or police record, but they would not release his name...