Fatal accident at Pelican Point – case of culpable homicide investigated

A case of culpable homicide is currently being investigated against Walvis Bay resident, Tinus van Zyl, following the death of a passenger in a vehicle he drove on the beach on the Pelican Point peninsula on 30 December.

Van Zyl’s vehicle plunged into the sea. Due to the steep slope at which the water in the area becomes deep, the vehicle was totally submerged within seconds. The sole passenger, Mr. Heiner Dörgeloh (58), was trapped in the vehicle and presumably drowned.
Dörgeloh was a well-known businessman of Omaruru and for many years spent his time between this Erongo town and Walvis Bay. Dörgeloh fought brain cancer for close to a decade and was confined to a wheel chair, as the illness left him partly paralysed. He was also cared for in a hospice in Walvis Bay in recent months, as his illness made it increasingly difficult for him to spend extended periods at Omaruru.
On 30 December he was taken on a beach ride by van Zyl. Van Zyl and the Dörgeloh shared the same friendship circle.
The vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser, plunged into the sea and within seconds was totally submerged in water several meters deep. Earlier media reports over the incident suggest Van Zyl tried in vain to free Dörgeloh from the submerged vehicle.
In the meantime, the Namibian Police opened a case of culpable homicide to determine whether Dörgeloh’s death was accidental and whether recklessness was the cause.
“Investigating a case of culpable homicide is standard procedure in these instances. We believe several people have witnessed this incident on 30 December or were present in the area in the hours before the fatal accident. We therefore call upon individuals to come forward, to assist with information to properly investigate this matter”, a senior police official said this week. Eyewitnesses or people with more information are required to contact Detective sergeant Shipingana at 064-219054 or 081 602 1522.

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