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Dutch prime minister Rutte consoles dying cyclist

Source: Reuters - Mon, 22 Apr 2013 16:19 GMT
Author: Reuters
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AMSTERDAM, April 22 (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte held the hand of a woman who lay dying after being hit by a truck while cycling on Monday, and gave a statement as a witness, a government spokesman said.

Cycling is the most popular mode of transport in the Netherlands, a flat nation of 16 million people where political leaders, including Rutte, often pedal to work.

Rutte was passing in his car when the collision took place in The Hague, the Dutch seat of government, on Monday afternoon, spokesman Stephan Schrover said.

"Someone else administered first aid, while the prime minister held her hand and talked to her," Schrover said. The woman, whose age was not given in the police statement, died at the scene.

Police took a statement from Rutte and questioned other witnesses as part of their investigation. The truck driver, 51, was taken to a police station for questioning.

Fewer than 200 cyclists are killed in traffic accidents each year in the Netherlands and numbers of cyclist fatalities are declining. (Reporting By Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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