Woman Struck and Killed on Tour de France Route | NBC New York

Woman Struck and Killed on Tour de France Route

Victim was hit by police motorcycle while crossing the road



    AFP/Getty Images
    A wounded woman lies on the ground after being collided with a French Garde Republicaine gendarmerie motorcyclist on July 18, 2009 during the 199 km and fourteenth stage of the 2009 Tour de France cycling race run between Colmar and Besancon.

    PARIS — A woman crossing the road during the Tour de France was killed Saturday when she was hit by a police motorcycle assisting riders.

    The morning accident happened in the town of Wittelsheim in eastern France during the 14th stage, a 124-mile route from Colmar to Besancon, the Interior Ministry said.

    Lt. Col. Thierry Renard said by phone the motorcycle driver was a member of the Republican Guard and was unable to avoid the woman. He could not confirm reports that two other people were injured.

    Commander Christophe Blanc told France Info radio the driver fell off his bike, which then hit and injured two others, although their lives were not in danger. One of the injured was a mother with a child in her arms, but the youngster was not hurt.

    "No child or baby has been injured," Renard said. "We don't have any problem of that sort."

    Deadly accidents are rare on the Tour de France. One boy was killed in 2000 and another in 2002 after being hit by sponsors' vehicles. Tour organizers then reduced the numbers of sponsor vehicles allowed on the course.

    Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux expressed condolences to the victim's family. Hortefeux also ordered a police inquiry and reminded spectators to take all precautions to avoid accidents.