The German man accused of driving his car through a crowd earlier this week celebrating Carnival is now being investigated on suspicion of attempted murder, prosecutors revealed Wednesday.
Authorities said 61 people were injured, including 20 children when the man plowed into a crowd watching Monday’s traditional “Rose Monday” procession in Volkmarsen’s central German town. The 29-year-old driver suffered severe injuries in the crash and is said to be one of the residents of the city, although he was not publicly identified.
Prosecutors noted on Wednesday that they are still investigating the driver’s motive but alleged that he was driving his car “to a large group of people with intent to kill,” reports the Associated Press.
“This is a terrible act committed against people who simply wanted to celebrate Carnival,” said earlier in the week Peter Beuth, the Hesse state’s interior minister, where Volkmarsen is based.
Those injured ranged from 2 to 85 years old. 35 were hospitalized as of Wednesday, some with life-threatening injuries.
Elsewhere, a German court accepted a request from a prosecutor to arrest the defendant for the duration of the inquiry.
He was registered with the silver Mercedes station wagon the man drove, policing spokesman Henning Hinn added.
Chancellor Angela Merkel sent her condolences to those who were injured in the crash and wished them a speedy and complete recovery. She has also thanked the police and all involved medical staff.