Fatal fall from the car park: great sadness in Essen-Borbeck

In Essen-Borbeck, it is horror after the death of two young men. There is evidence of regular parties in the parking lot.

“What happened here?” asks a twelve-year-old child, pointing to the yellow police markings. “Is this the place where people died,” he wants to know from his friends. The three stand on the sidewalk in front of Borbeck’s parking lot, where plastic parts from the car bear witness to the tragic accident that happened here the night before. The inmates died, two young men – only 19 and 16 years old. They fell about 18 meters from the upper deck of the parking lot.

The next day is Easter Monday, many people look up at the multi-storey car park at the intersection of Stolbergstrasse and Otto-Brenner-Strasse, they are shocked, horrified and clearly feel the need to talk about what happened in their neighborhood. Police are now investigating the course of the accident, it is suspected that the two young men had tried to drift into the parking lot. This attempt cost the 19-year-old from Essen and the 16-year-old from Herner their young lives. They succumbed to their serious injuries in hospital.

They went to the upper deck of the multi-storey car park, also open on Easter Monday. There are no barriers, a rolling door has been raised. Floor mats, office chairs, fire extinguishers and bulky waste lie in the round well below, the driveway winds along the exterior past the lower floors with white walls and green pillars, a few vehicles are parked in these areas.

The upper floors of the car park are closed after the accident

A small car is currently blocking the journey to the upper floors. These floors are empty and stained. Colorful images of dolphins adorn the exterior facade of the multi-storey car park, while inside, on the upper floors, no wall has been spared from illegal graffiti. Free Cemo or Shako is there, next to colored paint bombs and repeated insults from the police. On the floor are pizza boxes, plastic cups, drink wrappers and a pack of cigarettes. ‘Smoking kills’ is written on it – for the two teenagers it was their trip to the upper deck.

This car park is intended to be a popular meeting place for young people who meet there, drink and engage in daring activities. “Citizens have reported to us that misdeeds were committed in the parking lot in the evening,” confirms Kevin Kerber, deputy mayor of the district. Young people have even been observed balancing on the balustrade at a height of 18 meters.

In the past, the parking lot was secured at night with the rolling door, but it has been open for a long time and the owner did not react. Also on social networks, users raise many questions about safety in the parking lot. Some Borbeck residents complain that the multi-storey car park has been used by young people for evening and night parties for some time. All this should be part of the investigation that the Essen police have opened.

Plastic roses and candles at the scene of the accident in Borbeck

Officials markings now also glow yellow on the floor of the upper parking deck, they lead to the hole in the parapet that the green gulf passed through. The gap is now closed by a white Bulli with warning tape. On the left, the stairwell, also fully spray painted in bright colors, stands out, while opposite are two almost neat blue upholstered chairs. The floor here is littered with shards of glass from bottles that held beer or beer mixes. The asphalt curves into small hills in many places.

The view stretches far beyond Borbeck and beyond, next to the multi-storey car park there are residential buildings such as a casino, a sign on the wall still bears witness to the old specialty store Balster Appliances, which closed permanently in 2019 after 60 years. Dionysiusschule and Philippusstift are not far away.

In the multi-storey car park itself, young people are said to hang around again and again: so says a young person downstairs next to the scene of the accident, where there are now four plastic roses and two candles burn for the injured youngsters. He did not say he drove into the parking garage, but that he had known one of the inmates for a very long time.

Borbecker report on parties and daring actions in the parking lot

“Now that something has happened, all of a sudden everyone is coming,” berates a young resident. In recent years, however, no one has taken an interest in the situation – she does not say if she talks about the meetings of young people perhaps going too far. “You have to know where the limit is,” says a man as he walks past the daring maneuver the young men have paid for with their lives. “If they would have preferred to ride in front of one of the pillars,” said another. It remains uncertain if they would have survived, in any case they obviously had no chance after the fall.

“I will never go back there again,” the twelve-year-old boy told his friends. They are still trying to figure out what happened here, but like so many others they saw the many emergency vehicles with blue lights and the rescuers in the early evening. “The helicopter too,” said the boy.

And a cyclist shouts: “Is this part of the car?” He wonders if she flew that far, since police markings come up behind the tram tracks in front of the multi-storey car park. However, there is a part of the parapet that the car broke through, while plastic parts of the vehicle are strewn across the lawn and the sidewalk. Most passers-by stop there, we express what everyone here is probably thinking the next day: “So young, my God, it’s sad.

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