- A 33-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to 3 years in prison for causing the death of a municipal police officer in Vénissieux in November 2014.
- Refusing to submit to a control, he had started a chase with a municipal crew.
- During this pursuit, the police car had ended up colliding with an oncoming bus. One of the officers died in the accident.
The chase he was at the origin cost the life of a municipal police officer in Vénissieux (Rhône). On Wednesday, the Lyon Criminal Court sentenced a 33-year-old man to three years in prison, prosecuted for manslaughter and refusal to comply, considering that he was in fact responsible for the fatal accident and the death of the ‘agent.
On November 5, 2014, the thirty-something had refused to stop lord of a police check in Vénissieux, in the suburbs of Lyon. The municipal police crew then chased him for several kilometers, to a double bus lane, located in the town of Saint-Priest. The police car had taken the left lane in the wrong direction, and hit head-on an oncoming bus. Two other police officers were injured in the accident.
Police officers responsible for 30% of the accident
If the court found the driver entirely guilty of the three offenses on the criminal level, it changed its judgment on the civil level, by estimating that the police officers had a share of responsibility in the accident, up to 30% of their damage. . A civil hearing, scheduled for September, will assess the amount of damages awarded to the victims.
“This decision is a huge relief for those close to the policeman. It sends a positive signal to the police officers who will not be obliged to stop an intervention at the slightest crossing of a white line, ”said Frédéric Lalliard, counsel for the family of the agent killed.
Half-hearted judgment according to the defense
“It is a half-hearted judgment, a little paradoxical, which on the one hand retains, to my surprise, manslaughter without pronouncing an excessive sentence, and on the other recognizes the fault of the police”, reacted for his part the lawyer of the convicted driver, Me Sylvain Cormier.
For the lawyer, this decision risks having “dangerous consequences on public freedoms. What will we say the day a crew knocks down a passerby? Will it be someone else’s fault? “Asked the Lyon penalist.
This case had given rise to significantly different readings throughout the proceedings. The examining magistrate had pronounced a dismissal, confirmed by the investigating chamber of the court of appeal, considering that the fleeing driver could not be prosecuted for manslaughter. On the contrary, the Court of Cassation recommended that the case be referred to court.