Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Nice: what happened in front of the Westend Hotel?

The Westend Hotel is situated between the Negresco and the Westminster Hotel, just opposite the Blue Beach restaurant. The begin of the Gutjahr video, shot from the Westminster Hotel, shows the truck turning into the street after obviously travelling on the trottoir for some time. The seconds immediately prior to the Gutjahr video - when the truck passes the Westend Hotel - are meticulously covered in a timeline allegedly written by Sandra Bertin and transmitted to the national police who forwarded it to the magazine Marianne:
22:34:49  You can see the vehicle going on the trottoir again, continuing its ride to the east and mowing down tens of people as well as a kiosk; the vehicle is then situated across 27 promenade des Anglais.

22:35:04  You can see that the driver is apparently about 30 years old, has short brown hair and wears dark clothes; the individual is alone in the cabin.

22:35:07  The truck turns back onto the street and continues his course.

22:35:15  You can see an agent of the national police running behind the truck.

22:35:20  You can see an agent of the municipal police running behind the truck; the vehicle is situated at the intersection of the Promenade des Anglais and Rue Meyerbeer.

The last three occurences are covered in the Gutjahr video and thus enable to pinpoint its beginning at 22:35:05. The lights of the allegedly mowed down kiosk are also to see shortly at 0:03, at the right border above the zebra stripes:

Judging from this snapshot, the kiosk seems to be working, not mowed down. There is enough leeway between the kiosk and the quaywall. The truck must have passed behind it.

80 meters further to the west there is a pergola on the trottoir blocking the way. So the truck must have entered the trottoir behind the pergola. These 80 meters are situated exactly in front of the Westend Hotel. The following diagram covers the path of the truck in this phase.

google maps

Each rectangle designates a position of the truck per second. A, C and D are the positions of the truck at the respective times based on the timeline of the alleged Bertin report and, in the case of D, on the Gutjahr video. The speed at the last six seconds is about 15 km/h, corresponding to the Gutjahr video. The time of Position B is extrapolated from C and D. The red rectangles are interpolations per second.

The diagram shows that the truck needed 12 seconds for the 70 meters from A to B, corresponding to a speed of about 20 km/h. This throws doubts on the claim that it "mowed down tens of people" because at this slow speed most people should have been able to run away or go out of its way.

If the driver had accelerated to 50 km/h, a speed certainly sufficient to kill lots of people, he would have bridged the distance between A and B in 6 seconds, as the next diagram shows:

google maps

So the question is not only why so many people were not able to avoid the truck driving with 20 km/h, but also why the driver didn't speed up on the trottoir to cause maximum damage.

At this point, it should be noted that Sandra Bertin told the Journal du Dimanche that the police neutralized the driver at 22:34. This is obviously at odds with the report and justifies the question whether it was really drafted by Bertin herself - or if it is a "redacted" version of the national police.

There are only a few pictures of this crime scene available, the title picture is one of them. It shows the location only seconds after the attack. It has been taken by Evie and Tim Timotheou who resided in the Westend hotel across the street. They recorded a short video, but unfortunately it doesn't run, so we have only this snapshot.

Evie&Tim Timotheou
As blurry as it is, the picture shows people hurrying away, but no bodies or injured people on the ground, let alone "tens of people". It doesn't show any first aiders caring for people on the ground either, as you would expect.

Here is another picture, taken a few minutes after the attack:


Again, there are no dead persons on the ground visible. This is further evidence that the truck driver did not "mow down" people here. It increases the impression that there is something not right with the report - and that it should be taken with a grain of salt until Sandra Bertin confirms that she actually wrote it.