Woman Who Caused Tour De France Crash Handed Prison Sentence
The woman responsible for one of the worst crashes in Tour de France history has been handed a suspended prison sentence.
The pile-up took place on Saturday, June 26, as the peloton was around 45km away from the end of the first stage. However, for dozens of competitors, their race was abruptly halted after an unnamed woman’s sign clipped Tony Martin, who tumbled to the ground along with many, many others.
She was holding a sign reading ‘Allez Opi Omi’ – translated as a mix of French and German to mean ‘Go Grandma Grandpa’. At least 21 people sustained injuries, with some suffering broken ribs and two forced to exit the Tour early.
The 31-year-old woman, who hasn’t been named, has been handed a four-month suspended prison sentence after a trial in Brest, the MailOnline reports. She faced charges of involuntarily causing injury and putting the life of others at risk. This means it’s unlikely she’ll ever actually set foot in a prison, and will serve her sentence in the community.
The woman allegedly tried to flee the country in the fallout of the crash, which sparked intense furore worldwide. ‘I am ashamed. I am a quiet person. Everything that has happened is the opposite of who I am,’ she reportedly said.
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 organisers of the Tour de France initially came out swinging, announcing they’d be pursuing a lawsuit against the woman. However, amid the widespread anger, they withdrew it, saying it was ‘blown out of proportion’.
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