“I will never forget the noise of the shock, I think about the accident all the time. I would like to ask this man how he manages to look at himself in a mirror every day after what he has done, ”says Vanessa, with a motionless leg, trapped in the armchair of his dining room.
The life of this 41-year-old woman changed on January 27 on the departmental road 14 in Cépet (Haute-Garonne), a town north of the Toulouse conurbation. When she came home from work six kilometers from her home around 8:30 p.m., in the direction of Villemur-sur-Tarn, the Twingo of this order picker was hit hard by a motorist who overtook the opposite line, despite a continuous line.
After the accident, the accused driver fled on foot, leaving him dying and polytraumatized on the side. Firefighters took three hours to rescue Vanessa, whose life-threatening condition was under way.
This mother of 3 hopes to walk again in a year
The gendarmes of Saint-Jory, in charge of the investigation, quickly identified the motorist, a 40-year-old man, a repeat offender in traffic offenses, but had a hard time finding him. They finally arrested him four months after the terrible accident, on May 13 in Colomiers, in the west of Toulouse. After two days in police custody, the driver was to be tried immediately in court on May 15 before the Toulouse Criminal Court, but his defense requested a postponement. The man was held in pre-trial detention pending trial on June 11.
While waiting to hear the explanations of the man who turned his daily life upside down, that of his three children and his spouse, Vanessa continues physiotherapy sessions every day in the hope of walking again within a year. Patella of the left knee broken, edema on the right cheek, left leg notched to avoid losing it, the multiple and serious injuries of Vanessa required 60 days of total incapacity for work (ITT), a stop which should be prolonged.
"He panicked, not realizing what was going on"
From the accident, the forty-year-old with brown hair does not remember anything except the noise. "I saw the car pop up on the road in front of me, I braked with both feet and thought of trying to avoid it, I said to myself I am there, I am going to die then it is the black hole, she says. I was compressed in the car and taken in excruciating pain. I managed to call my spouse before I passed out. Then I remember hearing someone ask me for my first name: it was an accident witness who said that the driver had gotten out of his vehicle, looked at me and then fled on foot. When he was arrested and I learned his profile, I thought it was a joke, it is so inconceivable that someone with so many traffic convictions is still on the road. "
The man, father of three, had already been convicted four times for traffic offenses, including for lack of a license, insurance and drinking and driving. He was on stay and put to the test at the time of the accident. Handicapped with an arm, following a road accident, this mechanic, who was traveling in the car of a relative on the day of the tragedy, hid at a friend's house for some time before forcing on April 22 a barrage of police forces.
The vehicle belonged to a blind man
Three weeks later, it was finally the gendarmes of the Toulouse-Saint-Michel company who put an end to his flight. For Alexandre Parra-Bruguière, the lawyer for the accused, “he is someone who has a chronic problem with alcohol and who recognizes it. On the day of the accident, he explains that he fled because he panicked, without realizing what was going on. He is deeply sorry for this lady and awaits the trial to apologize. He does not deny his involvement in the accident. However, it should be noted that the road where the tragedy occurred is very accident-prone, I myself had a case of manslaughter on this axis, even if that does not explain everything. "
According to the investigation, the black BMW the driver drove belonged to a blind person and was of English manufacture, with the steering wheel on the right. An accumulation of offenses that shocked Kamel Benamghar, Vanessa's lawyer. "It's amazing, incredible to leave someone like that by the side of the road," he protested. It is the trial of roadside unconsciousness, with an accused in the locker more than provided. Several times he was nearly arrested, but he continued in his cowardice and fraudulent behavior so as not to be found. My client is physically and psychologically affected, she waited four long months to be found, despite the hard work of the gendarmes. It is double punishment. Not to mention the financial difficulties she experienced with confinement. "
"I especially want him to look me in the eye"
Vanessa was arrested for a work accident and was to receive 80% of her salary, but Social Security was slow to take over, putting her family's finances in jeopardy. Today dependent on her children to make the slightest coffee, this forty-something still in a wheelchair is now awaiting the trial with apprehension, ignorant of the legal environment.
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"I had a small quiet existence, I did not ask to live this, I am not comfortable in court, she admits. I especially want him to look me in the eye, to tell me something. However, I was hit by someone with an arm, who was driving the car of a blind man when he had received firm convictions for traffic offenses! Above all, I don't want us to put it back on the road one day. "