Pierre Palmade accident: can manslaughter be retained for the death of a fetus?

The terrible road accident which took place on Friday February 10, 2023 left five injured in all, including four serious: the comedian Pierre Palmade, the driver at the origin of the accident, a pregnant woman, who was in the struck vehicle, as well as the driver, his brother, aged about forty, and his son, aged 6 years. Finally, an 80-year-old man in a third car was slightly injured. More than forty-eight hours after the events, new elements must be taken into account.

Investigation for “manslaughter”

The pregnant woman, 27, was in her seventh month of pregnancy. Her life is no longer in danger, but she has lost her baby. Following this, the public prosecutor of Melun announced that an investigation was opened for manslaughter. However, for justice to accept this charge, it must be determined whether the child is indeed dead from the causes of the accident, and whether he died in utero or whether he was born alive. Perhaps a few seconds of life that could be decisive. Indeed, in criminal law, the fetus is not considered a person, as reported by Lextenso. So there is no manslaughter than if he was born alive. An autopsy should be performed, to determine whether the baby breathed or not, before dying.

However, a case law exists. In 2014, a motorist was convicted by the Tarbes Criminal Court of manslaughter after hitting the pregnant mother, which resulted in the death of the fetus, reports Le Figaro. Will it be the same for Pierre Palmade? In addition to the law, real societal and philosophical questions will determine the decision.

Aggravating circumstances

Especially since it has now been proven that Pierre Palmade, whose driving caused the accident, suffered from aggravating circumstances. He tested positive for cocaine as well as substitute drugs. While driving on a straight line, he would have suddenly deported his vehicle, going to hit head-on the vehicle coming in front. In addition, according to witnesses present on the spot, two men in their twenties got out of his vehicle and fled. They are currently wanted. Pierre Palmade is out of the woods but still hospitalized.

Child still in critical condition

The other two injured people are still in serious condition. The 40-year-old had to undergo heart surgery, and his 6-year-old son is still between life and death. The investigation is continuing to shed light on several gray areas.

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