The woman responsible for the “worst accident ever seen” in the Tour de France will breathe a little easier after some rare good news.
The spectator behind one of the biggest crashes in Tour de France history appeared in court on charges of injuring dozens of cyclists, but appeared keen to avoid jail after prosecutors demanded a suspended sentence.
The 31-year-old French woman, whose identity was withheld after being the target of a torrent of online abuse, has already told prosecutors that she is ashamed of her “stupidity” for causing what some called the “worst accident ever seen.” in the famous race.
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Wearing a blue sweater, he fled the crowd of journalists waiting at the courthouse in Brest, western France.
But the presiding judge rejected a request from her lawyer for the trial to take place behind closed doors.
While jail time was a real possibility, the prosecution requested that he be given a four-month suspended sentence on charges of endangering lives and causing unintentional injury.
Under French law, he could have faced a fine of up to 15,000 euros ($ AUD23.00) and a year in prison on the charges.
Prosecutor Solenn Briand acknowledged that she had recognized “how dangerous” his conduct had been and had expressed regret.
The trial was postponed by a verdict on December 9.
The woman, who has no criminal record, had attended the opening stage of the Tour on June 26 with the aim of getting television cameras to see a poster. It read “Allez, Opi-Omi,” the German terms for “grandfather and grandmother,” a nod to his family’s German roots.
But he was too far ahead of the tight peloton as he sped down a narrow road towards the finish line at Landerneau in western France.
German cyclist Tony Martin couldn’t help but collide with her and fell, forcing dozens of riders to crash while others swerved into the crowd of spectators.
Video footage of the collision and gruesome scenes of medics treating stunned victims or grimacing sparked outrage among fans and race organizers, especially when they realized the woman had fled the scene instead. to stay to help.
She was in hiding for four days before turning herself in to the police. Several riders had to withdraw from the race, including Spaniard Marc Soler, who had both arms broken.
But the woman’s attorney, Julien Bradmetz, said his client had had “a fragile personality for many years.”
“This fragility has now increased tenfold, so today my client is living hell,” he said.
The test opened on the same day that the organizers revealed the route and stages for next year’s race, which will start in Copenhagen and also include routes in Switzerland and Belgium.
Tour organizers, the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO), had originally planned to sue, but later said they wanted to “calm things down” and that he would not be a plaintiff.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme took a conciliatory stance on the case when announcing the new route in Paris.
“She did something silly, she is not a terrorist. We just want people to take care of themselves when they come to the Tour and remember that they are there to see the champions and not to appear on television, “he told the press.
But the Swiss-based International Drivers Association (CPA) has upheld its complaint and is seeking a token euro in damages to send a message against dangerous behavior by fans during the stages.
“The damage suffered by passengers is physical, moral and economic,” CPA President Gianni Bugno said in a statement on Wednesday.
“An athlete prepares months for a big tour and it is not acceptable that all his hard work, that of his family, his staff and his team, is broken in an instant by the search for popularity.”