Ex-Progress Party chief loses licence after crash

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Photo: Morten Holm/Scanpix (File)
10:13 CET+01:00
Former Progress Party leader Carl Ivar Hagen has had his driving licence revoked after he ran over two people in his car at a pedestrian crossing in Oslo on New Year’s Eve.

The 67-year-old ex-party chief, regarded as one of Norway’s most charismatic ever politicians, was on his way to a party with his wife, Eli Hagen, when the accident occurred.

Hagen failed to spot Bettina Håberg Badendyck, 24, and David Wagemann, 30, and collided with the couple in the middle of a crosswalk on Halvdan Svartes Gate.

The pair had just finished an early evening meal and were planning to take a stroll in Frognerparken.

“I remember walking out onto the pedestrian crossing. Suddenly I flew into the air before landing on the ground,” Wagemann told newspaper VG.

He recalled seeing Eli and Carl I. Hagen stepping out of the car that had knocked him over. A number of passers-by witnessed the accident, which took place at 6.40pm, and an ambulance was called to take the couple to hospital.

Wagemann said he and his partner were more than half way across the road when they were run over.

Badendyck was badly bruised and remains in hospital, where she is being treated for concussion.  

Since her income stems from a disability pension, she said she hoped Hagen would stump up the cash to enable her to buy a new pair of trousers.

“Because of the pain in my leg, ambulance staff cut open the leg of my trousers. They were my very newest pair. Maybe Hagen should buy me some new ones,” she said.

Carl I. Hagen said he was deeply sorry and wished the couple a speedy recovery. An alcohol test showed he was not under the influence at the time of the accident, but police nevertheless confiscated his licence on the spot due to the serious nature of the accident.

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Hagen declined to be interviewed by VG but agreed to answer the newspaper’s questions in writing.

“I strongly regret the accident. As the driver, I experienced the nightmare of seeing a pair of pedestrians in front of the car and not being able to stop,” he wrote.

“It’s hard to say whether it was down to the light conditions or the dark clothing without reflectors, but the couple weren’t visible to me until they were right in front of the car.”

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