17 injured as car ploughs into partygoers in eastern France

2nd July 2007, Comments 0 comments

BERRWILLER, France, July 2, 2007 (AFP) - A man drove his car into a crowd of terrified partygoers on a football pitch in eastern France early Saturday, injuring 17 people, local authorities and emergency services said.

BERRWILLER, France,  July 2, 2007 (AFP) - A man drove his car into a crowd of terrified partygoers on a football pitch in eastern France early Saturday, injuring 17 people, local authorities and emergency services said.

The 24-year-old man was arrested along with an 18-year-old passenger in the vehicle after the incident in the village of Berrwiller in the Alsace region, police said.

Local authorities said he rammed his car into the partygoers at about 3:00 am as they were leaving an annual open-air dance organised by the local football club.

The car first went past the crowd, before returning five minutes later and slamming into about 20 people at around 60 to 70 kilometers (35 to 40 miles) per hour.

Witnesses said the man was drunk and appeared to be acting deliberately.

"He passed once, he was trying to show off" by screeching his tyres, one of the partygoers said. Then he came back. "He did not brake, he accelerated, and he knocked down anything that moved."

Added Francois Meyer, head of the local fire department: "He came back flat out, he charged in. We saw people flying. It's sad, it's dreadful."

"There are five seriously injured, two of whom are in a critical condition," a local fire department official said. He said 12 others were less seriously injured, two of whom suffered concussion.

The driver was taken to hospital after his arrest. But his car was torched by unidentified assailants.

Police would not speculate on what motivated him.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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