A German man accidentally left his two children at a motorway service station and only realised his mistake when police called him 90 minutes later.
The Easter holiday from Baunatal in western Germany to Italy’s Lake Garda took an unexpected turn when the man went to pay for petrol at a filling station in Holzkirchen at around 5.20am on Saturday.
After returning to his Volkswagen minibus, he was blissfully unaware that his daughters, aged 10 and 14, had taken a trip to the toilet. He drove off and headed for the direction of the Alps, with his daughters returning minutes later to realise they were marooned 300 miles from home.
They then waited half an hour for their father’s return, before they eventually approach petrol station customers for help and police contacted their father.
’The children gave the officers their fixed telephone number at home in Baunatal because they didn’t know their father’s mobile phone number’, police later confirmed.
’The mother, who had not joined them on their trip to Lake Garda, could not immediately be reached. She appeared still to be asleep.’
Police subsequently searched the motorway for the minibus, and eventually got through to the father after he realised 48 missed calls on his phone.
At this point, he was already in Austria – 100 miles from his children.
‘By that time he was on the Brenner Pass and had still not noticed that his children weren’t in the car’, police said.
The children were safe and sound when the father returned to collect them,” said a spokesman for Tank & Rast, the company that manages the service station.
‘The staff at our franchise partner behaved very thoughtfully.’