On Sunday evening, at precisely 8:12 p.m., Véronique picked up her phone. At the end of the phone, her friend Christophe tells her that Philippe, her husband, a bus driver, is in the hospital. He just tells her that there was a "problem on the bus". But when she arrives at the hospital center in Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), Véronique understands that the situation is very serious.
Her husband is being operated on, she will not see him until a few hours later, at 1 a.m., accompanied by her three daughters aged 18, 21 and 24. Connected to a machine, Philippe is in a state of brain death. This 58-year-old bus driver was violently assaulted Sunday evening at the "Balishon" stop, located at the foot of a popular district of the city, while he was on duty, driving the main line of the network Chronoplus bus which links Bayonne to the seaside town of Biarritz.
“We touched him, felt him, we talked to him. Her head was deformed, ”says Véronique in tears, this Monday at the end of the afternoon. Even if her husband's condition is desperate, Véronique still hopes. “I don't want to face the facts, I feel like I'm living a nightmare. He can't leave like that, he was going to be 59 years old. "And to continue:" No, we don't do that for a bus ticket! We don't kill for free like that! "
"We're going to kiss my husband, we're going to say goodbye"
Véronique explains that, on Sunday, her husband allegedly had an argument with two people in the afternoon, around 2 p.m., well before the deadly assault that took place around 7 p.m. of which he was the victim. According to her, the reason for the altercation was that the passengers had no ticket and Philippe would have left to force them to get off. Véronique wonders: what did these two individuals do until the time of the attack? What happened ? Were they joined by other people they knew at the tram stop in order to do battle with her husband?
The wife, like the other drivers, deplores the lack of security on the buses. She does not know any more for the moment and the investigation opened by the police station of Bayonne should make it possible to clarify these gray areas according to the testimonies collected. The police placed a man in police custody on Sunday evening. Then four other individuals, this Monday, one of whom is suspected of being the author of the most violent blow which brought the victim to the ground.
Overwhelmed with sorrow, and as if to escape from this so cruel reality, Véronique thinks back to her hours of happiness still very recent. She tells us that on Saturday evening, in a restaurant in Biarritz, she was making plans for the future with her husband. “Philippe was going to be retired in a year and we thought we were going to buy a motorhome in September. We still wanted to profit. We were destroyed in a matter of seconds. We were destroyed yes… ”
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Accompanied by her daughters, Véronique was on Monday evening at the hospital. "We're going to kiss my husband, we're going to say goodbye to him."