Difficult to establish the degree of responsibility of each.
A man behind a chase that cost the life of a municipal police officer in Vénissieux (Rhône) in 2014, was sentenced Wednesday by the Lyon criminal court to three years in prison.
Judges found the 33-year-old man guilty of manslaughter, unintentional injury and refusal to comply.
They felt that he was directly responsible for the fatal accident to the police officer while fleeing behind the wheel of his car.
The police have some responsibility
If the court found the driver entirely guilty of the three offenses on the criminal level, it changed its judgment on the civil level, by estimating that the police officers had a share of responsibility in the accident, up to 30% of their damage. .
A civil hearing, scheduled for September, will assess the amount of damages awarded to the victims.
After the refusal of a control, on November 5, 2014 in Vénissieux, the municipal police crew chased the driver for several kilometers, to a double bus lane, located in the town of Saint-Priest.
The police had taken a wrong way,
The police car had taken the left lane in the wrong direction, and hit head-on an oncoming bus.
Two other police officers were injured in the accident.
“This decision is a huge relief for those close to the policeman.
It sends a positive signal to the police officers who will not be obliged to stop an intervention at the slightest crossing of a white line, ”said Frédéric Lalliard, counsel for the family of the killed police officer.
"It is a half-hearted judgment, a little paradoxical, which on the one hand retains, to my surprise, manslaughter without pronouncing an excessive sentence, and on the other recognizes the fault of the police", reacted for his part the lawyer of the convicted driver, Me Sylvain Cormier.
Very divided opinions
For the lawyer, this decision risks having “dangerous consequences on public freedoms.
What will we say the day a crew knocks down a passerby?
Will it be someone else's fault?
“Asked the Lyon penalist.
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This case had given rise to significantly different readings throughout the proceedings.
The investigating judge had pronounced a dismissal, confirmed by the investigating chamber of the court of appeal, considering that the fleeing driver could not be prosecuted for manslaughter.
On the contrary, the Court of Cassation had recommended that the case be referred to court.