What happened ?
A car, which was traveling on the roads in Franche-Comté on Wednesday and which was occupied by five people, left the road and fell into Lake Chalain, the largest in the Jura, east of Lons-le- Saunier.
Four high school students, three minors and a young major, remained prisoners in this car and died after the fall of their vehicle.
A fifth occupant of the car miraculously managed to get out of the vehicle. He immediately “warned someone who was passing by, this person then alerted the emergency services”, explained the public prosecutor of Lons-le-Saunier, Lionel Pascal.
A gendarmerie patrol was able “very quickly to arrive on the scene (…) The gendarmes threw themselves into the water to extract the occupants of the vehicle but did not succeed”, he indicated the prosecutor . Also arriving very quickly on the scene, the firefighters were also unable to save the occupants of the vehicle.
Who are the victims ?
The four deceased teenagers were all educated at the Lycée de Champagnole, a town in the Jura located about twenty kilometers northeast of the scene of the accident. The youngest victim was 15 years old.
The young man, who managed to get out to prevent help, is also a student of this high school.
The young adult who is among the victims “was the owner of the vehicle and had a driver’s license, we imagine that it was she who was driving,” said prosecutor Lionel Pascal.
What are the first elements of the investigation?
According to the authorities, in particular the prefect of Jura David Philot and the public prosecutor of Lons-le-Saunier Lionel Pascal, the road was very “icy”, a “real ice rink”.
The road on which they were traveling is located above the lake, bordered by “a fairly steep and fairly wooded slope”, underlined the prosecutor.
The vehicle allegedly fell about ten meters before ending up in the lake. He passed “in the only place where there was no tree, but still hit one slightly, which was not enough to change his course, indicated the prosecutor.
An investigation has been opened to determine the exact circumstances of the tragedy.
“Everyone is appalled”: the reactions after this tragedy
David Philot, prefect of the Jura, spoke of a “dramatic” accident which “affects us all”.
“After this tragedy which affects the entire educational community and especially the academy of Besançon, I want to express my pain and send all my thoughts to the families and loved ones of high school students”, tweeted in the evening the Minister of National Education. , Jean-Michel Blanquer. “State services are fully mobilized with the entourage of the victims,” he added.
“My thoughts go out to the families of the victims and the entire educational community of the Paul-Emile Victor high school in Champagnole”, also reacted on Tweeter Marie-Guite Dufay, PS president of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.
“Everyone is appalled,” said the mayor of Champagnole, Guy Saillard. The elected official did not know the identity of the young victims, the interns not being, according to him, from Champagnole but from surrounding municipalities.