Three people who were involved in preparations for an automobile hillclimb on Sunday in the Gers, were cut and killed by Road exit of a competitor during testing, a tragedy that resulted in the cancellation of competition.
The victims, whose identities were not disclosed Sunday are two marshals of the event organized by the Automobile Sports Association Armagnac Bigorre, and photographer independent press, said gendarmerie Gers.
The two officials, a man and a woman, were aged in their sixties, the photographer of forty years. All three were from the department.
The accident occurred around 11:00 am during the testing of the hillclimb Laas-Tillac near Mielan, about 35 kilometers north of Tarbes, in an area where there was luckily no spectators.
The accident occurred more than three hours before the start of this regional competition, while the majority of 500 to 1000 spectators expected were not yet . arrived
Also according to the secretary general of the prefecture of Gers Christian Guyard, the area where took place off the road was closed to spectators and reserved for official
. – A sprint of 1.5 km –
The race, a sprint uphill 1.5 km, was to be flown three times on Sunday afternoon between 14:00 and 17:00
From the same source it is reported that the car, probably not engaged in a series of tight turns, continued his path straight into a big curve to the left, took off from above the slide to hit the three victims before coming to rest against trees below.
The prosecutor in Auch, Pierre Aurignac, came to Tillac under investigation, said that the driver , aged 30, was an experienced pilot. The man living in the Lot-et-Garonne neighbor was heard late Sunday afternoon by the gendarmes.
“A specialized expertise of the vehicle will be performed to determine whether the accident was caused by mechanical failure or is linked to pilot error,” said Mr. Aurignac.
The prosecutor announced that the preliminary investigation would certainly be followed in coming days by the opening of a criminal investigation for manslaughter, which is standard procedure in this type of accident.
The trial was in its 13th edition. This hillclimb accounted for the Coupe de France in 2014 and the Mountain Regional Championship Committee Midi Pyrenees. 56 cars were brought against 67 last year, mainly sports coupe or GT.
In 2013, the race was won by Osella, GT type car, in a time of 41 seconds to climb the hill for 1.5 km, an average of more than 131 km / h.
The firefighters set up at the town hall of Tillac a cell with medical emergency -psychologique volunteers and spectators of the event overshadowed by the accident.
road races, rallies or one-day events such as hill climb Laas-Tillac are regularly interspersed with trips road competitors. Spectators are usually kept away from the most dangerous points but accidents sometimes have tragic consequences for those found along roadsides.
In May 2012 a commitment to rally Maures (Var) car crashed into the crowd, killing two people and wounded 19. Over the previous three years, the offices of the AFP had identified six such accidents, with at least one death.