France crash: Seven seriously injured and three children fighting for life after car ploughs into group

The youngsters had been going single file down the street when the Renault Twingo travelling in the opposite direction ran into them
-Credit: (Image: @InfosFrancaises/X)


A group of 10 children have been left seriously injured after a car ploughed into them near a popular holiday spot in France. The group of kids - who were cycling in single file along the Avenue de Coligny in La Rochelle, in the west of the country - were struck by an 83-year-old motorist who drove into them from the opposite direction.

As reported by the Mirror, seven of the children were left seriously injured and three are in a critical condition. Local news outlet France Bleu La Rochelle told how traumatised onlookers described “terrible images” at the scene as kids screamed in pain and terror following the smash.

An air ambulance was called for one of the kids who had to be airlifted to the city of Poitiers for lifesaving treatment. According to local official Emmanuel Cayron, another two had to be categorised as “extreme emergency” cases.

The kids were cycling on Avenue de Coligny in La Rochelle, Western France when an 83-year-old motorist drove into the group
The kids were cycling on Avenue de Coligny in La Rochelle, Western France when an 83-year-old motorist drove into the group -Credit:@InfosFrancaises/X

Images of the car involved in the collision posted on social media show unsettling amounts of damage to the front bumper of the motorist's yellow Renault Twingo while the twisted frames of several bicycles could be seen lying on the road nearby.

A massive response by the emergency services saw 32 firefighters attend the scene along with seven ambulances as well as units from the local police force. Tests administered to the elderly motorist came back negative for alcohol and narcotics, as a police investigation gets underway into the circumstances behind the terrible crash.

The 83-year-old woman was initially arrested by police at the scene but she was later released from custody after officers deemed her not to be in a fit state for questioning - she was then taken to hospital.

The 12 young cyclists regularly went on after-school bike rides together, and that is what they had been doing at the time of the crash, local news reported. There were two activity leaders with them, according to a statement from the Mayor’s office.

The youngsters cycled regularly and had been going single file down the street when the Renault Twingo travelling in the opposite direction ran into them. The kids had been heading for Franck Delmas park, around 1.5 miles from the Bernard Palissy school and half a mile from the city centre when the tragic crash occurred.

The La Rochelle municipal building had become home to a rapidly-established medical and psychological response unit to support the children from the group who were not seriously injured, local media reported.

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