Swedish cartoonist who survived two murder attempts after drawing the Prophet Mohammed is killed in mystery car crash along with his two police protection officers
- Lars Vilks, 75, killed in crash in Markaryd, Sweden just before 3pm on Sunday
- He received numerous threats to his life after drawing prophet with dog’s body
- A lone gunman targeted him at a cafe in 2015 but he managed to escape bullets
A Swedish cartoonist who survived two murder attempts after drawing the Muslim Prophet Mohammed has died in a horror car crash.
Lars Vilks, 75, was killed Sunday when the police car he was traveling in veered onto the wrong side of the road and collided with a truck.
Both vehicles caught fire and the truck driver, 45, was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The two police officers who were tasked with protecting Mr Vilks also died, according Swedish news outlet Expressen.
The crash is being investigated by the special prosecutor’s office.
The collision occurred just before 3pm in Markaryd, in the province of Kronoberg, Sweden.
It comes after Mr Vilks received numerous threats for drawing the Prophet Muhammad with a dog’s body in 2007.
In 2015 lone gunman Omar El-Hussein fired shots at the front of the Krudttonden cafe where Mr Vilks was taking part in a debate on free speech.
Lars Vilk, 75, was traveling together with two police officers who also died, according Swedish news outlet Expressen
Meanwhile Colleen LaRose, 51, of Pennsberg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to conspiring to kill Mr Vilks in 2011 and was convicted in 2014.
National Police Chief Anders Thornberg said: ‘It is with dismay and great sadness that I received the news that our two colleagues and our security person died this afternoon.
‘My thoughts go out to their relatives, families, friends and co-workers.
‘I am also in contact with the police in the region to make sure that they get the support they need.’
The relatives of Mr Vilks and the two officers have been notified.
Head of the special prosecutor’s office Anders Jakobsson said: ‘With the information I have now, it indicates that it is an accident.
‘But the investigation is at a very early stage.’
The horror crash occurred just before 3pm in Markaryd, in the province of Kronoberg, Sweden on Sunday (Pictured: Mr Vilks)
The truck driver was airlifted to hospital by helicopter, where he will be questioned by police over what happened.
The car carrying Mr Vilks was reportedly travelling at a high speed before it veered into the other lane and collided with the truck, becoming wedged underneath it. Both vehicles caught fire.
Police spokesman Rickard Lundqvist said: ‘I can not say at the moment if there are any criminal suspicions.’
The busy E4 road where the crash occurred has been closed off while police speak to witnesses. It is set to re-open at around 3am.
According to Expressen, the rescue service and the police said it would take a lot for a vehicle to be able to pass into the other lane, given that it is separated by a wire fence.
The section of the road has reportedly been rebuilt several times in recent years to improve traffic safety.
A police press conference is scheduled for Monday.
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