“He was crushed, scalped, he fought like a lion to survive”

He has been mourning his son’s death for months. Akim Metlas’ life changed when his 8-year-old son was fatally struck by a car on a pedestrian crossing. For Yahoo, this father, whose existence has been shattered, has agreed to return to this tragedy.

Rape, assault, insurmountable grief, life accidents: In “Trauma,” anonymous people and celebrities return to Yahoo for a trauma that has turned their lives upside down.

Inconsolable. Since February 5, 2022, Akim Metlas is no longer the same. He doesn’t want to smile anymore and lives every new day as torture. He has been mourning the death of his son Yanis for months, hit by a car near Lake Villeneuve-de-la-Raho in the Pyrénées-Orientales. A terrible tragedy from which he and his wife will probably never recover.

“She doesn’t stop, flees and rolls over Yanis, dragged 22 meters”

Akim remembers this accident in great detail. That day everything changes. A vehicle launched at full speed hits his son head-on while he was in a crosswalk. “The cane is so violent that it is thrown upwards and hits the windscreen”, his father recalls fondly. The driver does not stop. She escapes and falls over Yanis. The baby is dragged 22 meters.

During this endless period, the young boy lives a true hell. “He feels his ribs break one after another”. The clavicles break, as do the thoracic and femur bones. Both lungs explode. Yanis screams, he’s scalped on the leg, but he’s alive. His mother runs to him, completely distraught, he is in agony. “At that moment, Yanis still finds the strength to put his hand around her head and pat her as if to calm her down”.

For his part, the 57-year-old driver stops 600 meters away and calls the gendarmerie. No to help. She then explains that she hit a little boy before mentioning that she intended to join her son, also a policeman.

“He was simply devastated, but he fought like a lion to survive”

For the victim’s parents, hell has only just begun. Alarmed by the disaster, Akim goes as quickly as possible to the tragedy, where he finds firefighters and police cars. “I feel it is very serious”, he recalls, still turned upside down by this vision of horror. He is allowed to see his son, enters the emergency vehicle and sees him as he had never seen him. “There’s an opening, an open wound, it’s bleeding a lot. He was simply crushed”. Yanis is conscious and whispers a few words to him despite his extreme suffering.

Soon after, the young boy suffered his first cardiac arrest. The doctors still believe it and manage to restart his heart. At the hospital, he makes another. Once again he survived it. “He fought like a lion”. Unfortunately, it was not enough. Later that night, his health plummets and the chasm falls. Yanis is gone. His life stopped and with it the lives of his loved ones.

“This happiness of living, we lost it forever”

Since then, Akim and his wife have lived in constant pain. “Never again will we be able to see life as we saw it. This happiness of living, we have lost it forever”, he explains with pain. For him the punishment is double. He still does not understand why the driver of the vehicle is not yet behind bars.

As he tells it, the son of the fifties, a policeman by profession, would have briefed her on the day of the tragedy so that she incurs the lightest possible punishment. At the police station, she also changes versions very quickly and will not stop contradicting herself during her hearings. If in the first phone call she had admitted to hitting a child, she will end up confirming that she was blinded by the sun and thought about hitting “a bird”. Contradictions that law enforcement would be satisfied with. She would have been convicted “very consistent” according to the personality report.

He demands “real” justice for his son

On 28 September, a five-year suspended prison sentence combined with an 18-month license revocation was demanded at the Perpignan court against the driver of the vehicle. A minimal condemnation that he does not admit. “Killing a child on a pedestrian crossing is not acceptable”, he regrets while denouncing a conflict of interest. Faced with this “injustice”Akim has appealed and, together with his wife, hopes to get a further investigation.

To keep moving forward and allow us to live again, he calls for one “right” justice for his son, without “favorable regime”. “We are asking for criminal damages, she sentenced us to a lifetime of suffering, we will never see our son again”, he concluded. The hearing will be held on 9 November.

Find the entire interview with Akim Metlas

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