Spectator who caused Tour de France crash must appear in French court

A 30-year-old woman who caused a massive collision at the Tour de France over the weekend was released from police custody on Friday but was due to appear in court in October.

The woman, who has not been named, was arrested on Wednesday and questioned about the crash caused by her large cardboard sign during the first leg of the race in northwestern Brittany.

A statement from the prosecutor’s office in the city of Brest says she will appear in court on October 14, where she could be charged with negligence and causing accidental bodily harm.

Wearing a bright yellow jacket, she saw a handwritten cardboard banner rolled out to television cameras on Saturday with the words “Allez Opi-Omi!” (“Go, grandpa and grandma”) for the cyclists.

German rider Tony Martin, who was on the outside of a tightly packed peloton, couldn’t avoid crashing into the board and the ensuing collision led to a five-minute delay as riders and bikes untangled.

Dozens were left with cuts and bruises and one with broken hands, sparking a debate over safety and spectator behavior at the Tour de France, where fans are allowed to line the roads.

The woman told investigators she was ashamed of her “stupidity” and alarmed by the public interest in her case.

The Tour de France, which had filed a complaint against the woman, announced on Thursday that it would withdraw it in order to “calm things down”. Another complaint has been filed by a Swiss riders association called Cyclistes professionnels associés, said Camille Miansoni, the public prosecutor for the city of Brest.

( Jowharwith AFP)

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