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Road of death French court sentences driver and owner of Swiss vehicle in 2016 crash

A prison in France

The motorway where the accident occurred was France’s east-west Route 79, part of the RCEA (Centre-European Atlantic Route). The route has been given the grim nickname “road of death” by locals.

(Keystone)

A French court has handed down prison sentences to two Portuguese residents of Switzerland involved in a fatal 2016 car accident in France.

The driver of the van was sentenced to three years in prison and his uncle, the owner of the vehicle, to four, according to a report by Swiss public television, RTS.

The driver, now 22, and his 44-year-old uncle were tried for "manslaughter" and "deliberate breach of an obligation of safety or care". Their lawyers say they won't appeal.

The court also revoked their driving licences for five years. The two men are banned from undertaking any activity related to passenger transport. 

On March 24, 2016, a vehicle heading from Romont in western Switzerland to Portugal for the Easter holidays crashed, killing its 12 passengers – all Portuguese nationals residing in Switzerland.

The van had been equipped to accommodate more passengers. One little girl had even travelled on her parent's lap, according to the report. 

It collided head-on with a truck. The accident occurred in the town of Montbeugny, in the Allier region of central France.

RTS/ds

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