Tuesday, May 17

Drama in France: four high school students die in the accident of their car, which fell into a lake

“A tragedy that affects the entire educational community”: four high school students, three minors and a young adult, died on Wednesday, trapped in their car which fell into a Jura lake while driving on an icy road.

A fifth occupant of the car miraculously managed to get out of the vehicle and give the alert, said Lionel Pascal, public prosecutor of Lons-le-Saunier, confirming information from the regional daily Le Progrès.

The five young people were educated at the Lycée de Champagnole, a Jura town located about twenty kilometers northeast of the scene of the accident, according to David Philot, prefect of the Jura, who spoke of a “dramatic” accident which “affects us all “.

According to Pascal, the youngest victim was 15 years old.

The tragedy occurred at the end of the afternoon, while their vehicle was traveling on the road along Lake Chalain, the largest in the Jura, east of Lons-le-Saunier.

The roadway was very “icy”, a “real ice rink”: the car “left the road” and “fell into the lake”, according to the magistrate.

“One of the occupants managed to get out of the vehicle” but “the other four got stuck inside and did not survive the accident,” he continued.

“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, joined by AFP. 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.

The circumstances of the accident

The road on which the five high school students were traveling is located above the lake, bordered by “a fairly steep and fairly wooded slope”, explained Mr. Pascal.

Their vehicle made “a fall of about ten meters before ending up in the lake”, specifies on its France Bleu website.

She passed “in the only place where there was no tree, but still hit one slightly, which was not enough to change her course and she fell in the water”, indicated the prosecutor.

The survivor “warned someone who was passing by, this person then alerted the emergency services”, continued the magistrate.

The high school student was then taken care of by the emergency services and hospitalized, Mr. Pascal specifying that he did not have any elements indicating “that his vital prognosis was engaged”.

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 said again.

Also arrived very quickly on the scene, the firefighters did not succeed in saving the occupants of the vehicle either, he added.

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 Mr. Pascal.

The four bodies were taken to Lons-le-Saunier hospital so that relatives could identify them.

A gendarmerie investigation has been opened to determine the exact circumstances of the tragedy, according to the prosecutor.


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