The driver sentenced to one year in prison: in 2019, his car crashed into the Loire side canal and his passengers died

“The car drove to the left, I could not stop it. This Wednesday, the 31-year-old driver was still looking for what might have worked, the night between 13 and 14 December 2019. Two and a half years later, the driver of the car, found at the bottom of the side canal in the Loire, on the height of La Chapelle-Montlinard, on the border of Nièvre, he always says he does not know the reason that precipitated his gray Clio in the water, with him on board and his friend, originally from Herry.

He was sitting in the front passenger seat. He did not have time to get out of the cabin. The driver had time to tell him, right after feeling that he was no longer in control of the Clio, and before the fatal collision with the water surface, to loosen his seat belt. Clio sank. At the bottom of the canal, the thirty-year-old tried everything to get his friend out, but in vain with the danger of drowning himself. He managed to pull himself up on the bench. He was found hypothermic and intoxicated, in the ditch, near the scene of the accident, with more than one gram of alcohol per liter of blood. It showed a blood test several hours after the accident.

This accident is the consequence of his behavior at the wheel

The driver was charged, at the helm of the Bourges Criminal Court, prosecuted for manslaughter by the driver of a land motor vehicle in a state of apparent intoxication and failure to assist a person in danger. But the prosecution clarified before the opening of the case that it had since given up the prosecution for this last prevention case. The investigation had shown that the driver had tried everything to bring the passenger to the surface. In vain. His mind is still imprinted, and it is to the victim’s family, absent on the benches of the civilian parties, that he once again apologizes.

The two men had spent a drunken evening and before they got on the road around 5 o’clock in the morning to calm their stomachs somewhere. But the car left the road, biting the grassy edge of the canal before crashing into it. Investigators found no signs of slowing down, Clio went straight into the canal.

No accident expertise performed

“For no reason” is the driver version. But that from the prosecution is more unequivocal: “This accident is the consequence of his intoxication and his behavior at the wheel. The prosecution notes several verdicts on the criminal record for the thirties. The same prosecution mainly rejects with a setback the thesis about the flat tire (the car that was brought to the surface, had a flat tire), which could have explained the loss of control.The road was wet.It was dark.The four gears were running, which led the prosecution to say that the driver was driving too fast at this location. The requisitions then report three years’ imprisonment, of which two years probation, accompanied by work and care obligations.

For the sake of the defendant, Ms Ludivine Lamoure rejects any excessive speed, in particular because no expertise in accidentology has been carried out. The lawyer also does not rule out the possibility of a flat tire. She asked solely for release. The criminal court in Bourges sentenced the driver to three years in prison, two of which were suspended. The fixed part will be made under an electronic bracelet. His license was revoked for eighteen months.

Remy Beurion

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