Spectator Who Caused Horror Tour De France Crash To Go On Trial
The Tour de France spectator who caused one of the race’s worst crashes will go on trial.
On Saturday, June 26, the peloton was 45km from the end of the first stage, with the cyclists riding from Brest to Landerneau. However, it ended in catastrophe when a woman’s sign clipped one of the riders, causing him and many, many others to tumble. At least 21 suffered injuries, with dozens more having minor scrapes and two withdrawing from the competition.
The woman, who hasn’t been named, was holding a sign reading ‘Allez Opi Omi’ – translated as a mix of French and German to mean ‘Go Grandma Grandpa’.
The woman was arrested and held in Landerneau, Brittany, in the fallout of the crash, after fleeing the scene and allegedly attempting to leave the country. She’s been accused of involuntarily causing injury and putting the life of others at risk, Sky News reports, and she could be fined or even sentenced to jail.
Romuald Palao, a lawyer for the Professional Cyclists’ Association CPA, said, ‘The public is key to cycling races, it must remain that way, but it must be done with respect for the physical integrity of the riders.
‘This case is representative of what can happen with people who want to take centre-stage themselves with pictures, videos. It has to be done with a minimum of common sense and this was not the case there.’
The woman is said to be ashamed of her actions. While the French authorities launched an investigation for ‘involuntary injuries with incapacity not exceeding three months by manifestly deliberate violation of an obligation of safety or prudence’, the race’s organisers withdrew their lawsuit amid the public outrage.
Deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault initially said, ‘We are suing this woman who behaved so badly… so that the tiny minority of people who do this don’t spoil the show for everyone.’
However, director Christian Prudhomme later confirmed the lawsuit wouldn’t go ahead as the accident had been ‘blown out of proportion’.
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