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Drunk driver jailed for fatal wrong-way collision

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22:22 CEST+02:00
A 53-year-old Frenchman found responsible for killing another driver while driving without a permit and in the wrong direction on the A-1 motorway in the canton of Vaud escaped on Wednesday with a firm jail sentence of 18 months.

The case dates back to the early morning of August 10th 2011 when the convicted man, a resident of the canton of Fribourg, drove his car into the flow of north-bound traffic on the highway near Chavornay and collided head-on with another car.

The driver of the car travelling n the right direction, a 55-year-old citizen of France living in Vaud, died on the spot after his vehicle was crushed against a motorway median, according to media reports.

The victim left behind a wife and five children, the 24heures newspaper website reported.

The man charged with homicide caused by negligence was seriously injured after his car flipped onto its roof.

But he survived after being treated at the Lausanne hospital (CHUV).

Tests showed that he had a blood alcohol level of 1.89, more than three times the legal limit, the court in the Broye and northern Vaud region was told.

At the time of the accident, the man at fault’s driving permit was suspended for previous drunk driving.

The court was told that prior to the fatal collision the man went to a bar after finishing work in Lausanne, 20 Minutes reported online.

He testified that he was responsible for a “considerable stupidity” but had no recollection of the accident, the newspaper said.

Asked if he considered himself an alcoholic, he replied that he “took a few beers after work to wind down.”

In addition to the firm prison sentence, the convicted man received a suspended term of 18 months which could be activated if he reoffends during a four-year trial period.

The court also ordered him to pay 200,000 francs in damages to the victim's family and to cover court costs.

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