Status: 04.12.2023, 14:00 PM
By: Volker Ufertinger
Silent remembrance: A wooden cross at the site of the accident near Oberdill commemorates Benedict Apostoli. The Gautinger lost his life here on September 1, 2019. He crashed into a tree at more than 300 kilometers per hour. © Turbulent times
The fate of Benedict Apostoli, who died in a car race, has shaken the county. Now an ARD documentary is being released.
Gauting – Almost everyone knows that car races take place on the A 95. But one with a fatal outcome? And with a dead man from the county on top of that? When the news made the rounds on September 1, 2019 that the young Benedikt Apostoli (23) from Gauting near Oberdill had crashed into a tree at more than 300 kilometers per hour and lost his life, there was a state of shock in his home community. For a long time it was said that he himself had been the driver. It was only after three and a half years that the Munich District Court, based on an expert opinion, determined: Benedict was only the passenger. The real unfortunate driver of the Audi R8, Alexander K., was sentenced to two years in prison on probation.
Carsten Frank, director of the film "Deadly PS Kick". © Private
On Tuesday, 5 December, the documentary entitled "Deadly PS Kick" will be uploaded to the ARD media library about the fatal race, the grief of the family and the legal process. It lasts three times for 30 minutes. It was produced by the Munich-based company "Bewegte Zeiten" (producer Stephan Rebelein, production Bettina Zettler). Director Carsten Frank has already shot several criminal cases, including "Shadow of Crime" about the OEZ assassination. In doing so, he always tries to take the perspective not of the perpetrator, but of the victims. The Apostoli case has occupied the Munich resident intensively for a full two years. "Of course, you have to keep a professional distance, but a case like this gets under your skin."
From the hours before the accident and from the accident itself, the Munich native has found moving images, which will also be shown in the documentary. The whole weekend Ben and Alexander were racing along the roads of the Oberland in a borrowed high-horsepower car, sometimes one, sometimes the other at the wheel. In the process, they committed no less than 149 speeding offences. Pictures on the mobile phone of Ben, who was catapulted onto the road in the accident, show them posing, spurring each other on, stepping on the gas. Among them: drivers of a Bentley, who then, shortly before the final death drive, turned off in the direction of Munich. Ben's brother Raphael left the phone to the director. "That was a great vote of confidence, for which I am very grateful," says Frank.
The images of the accident itself come from the dashcam of a woman from the Allgäu. She was on her way home from vacation with her family on the night of September 1 when the car on the A 95 shot past her car loudly. "At such a moment, the dashcam switches on automatically," says the director. "That's why you can see a fireball very soon and shortly afterwards how the first responders are running back and forth on the A 95." The director learned that these recordings exist at all from the witness's husband on the sidelines of the trial in Munich. After prosecutors released the images, Frank was able to use them for documentation.
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Of course, the Apostoli family, who run the Krapf restaurant in Gauting, play an important role. Not everyone wanted to be in front of the camera, for understandable reasons. Philipp, who works as a brewer in Munich, and Raphael, who appeared as a joint plaintiff at the trial, faced the situation. In the film, there is a scene in which Raphael lays flowers for his deceased brother at the scene of the accident. "Until then, he had always avoided the job," says the director. Even when he was away on business, he asked his supervisor to allow him to take a different route than the one on the Garmisch motorway.
The accident experts Michael Huhmann and Heinrich Sattel were particularly important for establishing the truth. After a long investigation, they managed to prove that the unfortunate driver could not have been Ben. The GPS data was the main reason for their findings. Originally, the American company did not want to disclose this, citing data protection. It was only when the public prosecutor's office threatened to summon the company's CEO to Germany that things got moving. "He plays an important role in our documentary, he explains the course of events leading up to the accident," says Frank. Raphael Apostoli's lawyer, Klaus Höchstetter, and photographer Jürgen Römmler also have their say.
Track expansion: Work is scheduled to start in July 2026
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
On December 12 at 22:50 p.m., a 45-minute follow-up documentary entitled "Mit Vollgas in den Tod" will be broadcast on ARD, also produced by "Bewegte Zeiten". "We processed a lot of what went beyond the specific case," says Frank. In general, it is about illegal car racing and speeding on German motorways. What can be done to ensure that tragedies like the one of 1 September 2019 near Oberdill are not repeated? There will hardly be a simple answer to this question.
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