Driver sentenced to one year in prison: in 2019, his car sank in the side canal of the Loire and his passenger died

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

He was in the front passenger seat. He didn’t have time to get out of the cab. The driver had time to tell him, right after feeling that he was no longer in control of the Clio and before the fatal impact with the surface of the water, to take off his seat belt. The Clio sank. At the bottom of the canal, the thirty-year-old tried everything to get his friend out, but in vain, at the risk of drowning. He managed to get up on the bench. He was found hypothermic and drunk, in the ditch near the crash site, with more than a gram of alcohol per liter of blood. This was revealed by a blood test several hours after the accident.

This accident is a consequence of his driving behavior

The driver was charged in front of the Bourges Criminal Court with being prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter by the driver of a land motor vehicle in a state of manifest intoxication and failure to assist a person in danger. But the prosecution clarified, before the opening of proceedings, that since then he had left the prosecution for the latter head of prevention. The investigation had shown that the driver had tried his best to bring the passenger to the surface. In vain. His mind is still marked and it is to the family of the victim, absent from the banks of the civil parties, to whom he apologizes again.

The two men had spent a drunken afternoon and before going out on the road, around 5 in the morning, to accommodate their stomachs somewhere. But the car veered off the road, biting the grassy edge of the canal edge before submerging it. Investigators found no signs of braking, the Clio entered the canal directly.

No accidental expertise was performed

“No reason” is the driver version. But the prosecutor’s office is clearer: “This accident is a consequence of his intoxication and his driving behavior. The prosecution finds several convictions in the criminal record of the thirties. The same prosecution mainly dismisses with a mishap the thesis of the broken tire (the car brought to the surface had a broken tire), which could have explained the loss of control. The road was wet. It was dark. All four gears were stuck, prompting prosecutors to say the driver was driving too fast at the scene. The requirements then report three years in prison, including two years suspended, accompanied by the obligation to work and care.

Me Ludivine Lamoure, for the interests of the defendant, 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 hanging tire. She simply demanded release. The Bourges Criminal Court sentenced the driver to three years in prison, two of which were suspended. The firm part will be made under electronic bracelet. His license was revoked for eighteen months.

Remy Beurion

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