Friday 23 February 2018

Driver kills girl (13) in car-crash suicide bid

The BMW which crashed into a pizzeria in Paris. Photo: Twitter
The BMW which crashed into a pizzeria in Paris. Photo: Twitter

Oliver Gee

A 13-year-old girl was killed and four other people were seriously injured last night after a man deliberately drove a car into a pizzeria to the east of Paris.

Police were quick to rule out terrorism. The man drove into the crowd of diners at the restaurant in the town of Sept-Sorts, around 40 miles east of Paris.

Witnesses said around 20 people were in the pizzeria at the time.

Police arrested the driver immediately and after an initial interrogation ruled out any potential terrorist motives.

A source from the prosecutor's office said the man was suicidal and had already made a failed bid to take his life the day before.

While the driver did not manage to take his own life yesterday, he left the teenage girl dead.

Her younger brother was among the four diners in a critical condition after yesterday's crash. Another eight people were said to have suffered light injuries.

The identity of the driver remains unknown, although the Interior Minister has said that he is in his early thirties.

He is reportedly unknown to French police and intelligence services and has no links to terrorism.

France remains on edge after a series of attacks across the country, most recently with a driver last week ramming a BMW into six soldiers to the north of Paris.

The man was caught after a dramatic shootout on a motorway in northern France.

He remains in a serious condition, unable to talk with police.

Interior Minister spokesperson Pierre-Henry Brandet has said four of last night's victims are "seriously injured and in a state of absolute emergency".

A source at the prosecutor's office in nearby Meaux told 'Le Parisien' newspaper that the suspect was a young man with suicidal tendencies.

"He tried to kill himself yesterday and decided to try again like this today," the source told the paper.

It added that officers had erected a large security perimeter around the cafe, from which the public should steer clear.

One witness told the BFM TV channel: "The car drove into the terrace and crashed into the bar. The driver tried to reverse the car but someone stopped them. The police arrived quickly. There were around 20 people in the restaurant. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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