• Switzerland's news in English
Former ski star Cuche denies drunk driving rap
Photo: Christian Jansky

Former ski star Cuche denies drunk driving rap

The Local · 1 Sep 2015, 08:12

Published: 01 Sep 2015 08:12 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Cuche, 41, appeared in La Chaux-de-Fonds police court to deny any wrongdoing in the June 21st 2014 traffic incident when the car he was driving struck two striped road barrier posts.

The ski champion, who retired in 2012, told the court the accident happened when he swerved to avoid striking an animal as he drove home at around midnight after visiting friends at a barbecue party, Swiss media reported.

Cuche, a native of Neuchâtel who won world skiing titles in the downhill, super-G and giant slalom categories, said he had no more than two glasses of wine before driving home.

He failed to stay at the scene of the accident and only reported the crash to police several hours later when he left a message on the police telephone answering machine, the ATS news agency said.

Justice officials said he concealed damage done to his car and also violated safety regulations by driving a vehicle that was not in roadworthy condition.

But Cuche and his two lawyers denied that he was inebriated at the time of the accident.

They maintained he had not been driving at an excessive speed and the slight damage caused to his car allowed him to drive safely home, ATS said.

He said he lent his mobile phone to a person who was at the accident scene to allow the person to inform police, the news agency said.

One of his lawyers said that Cuche left the accident scene because he did not want to be the victim of a passerby who might have taken a photo of his damaged vehicle and circulated through social media.

“I know that these images would have ended up landing in the press,” Cuche told a press conference after his court appearance.

“I am very sensitive to these questions of images, that can quickly degenerate,” he said.

In addition to the fine, the Neuchâtel prosecutor imposed a penalty equivalent to payments of 1,000 francs a day for 30 days suspended for a period of two years.

“I have the impression of being in a bad film and that I am going to wake myself up,” Cuche, who lives in the village of Bugnenets, told the press conference, ATS said.

Story continues below…

“I experience some terrible moments,” he said, stressing that he wanted to restore his honour.

“My image has always been important to me.”

Also potentially at risk is an advertising deal he has with car company Audi, among others.

The judge of the police court is set to deliver his verdict in the case at the end of September.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Protect Swiss waterways or lose our fish': WWF
Photo: Richi Stadelmann/WWF

Eighty-five percent of fish species in Switzerland are under threat, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

SBB pilots new annual pass – costing 12,200 francs
The 'door-to-door' pass includes use of an electric car. Photo: SBB

Swiss federal railways (SBB) is looking for 100 people willing to pilot a new annual transport pass that includes use of an electric car.

Immigration to Switzerland falls as emigration rises
File photo: The Local

Immigration in Switzerland has fallen considerably this year, according to official figures.

Wawrinka aces his way into Basel quarterfinals
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The home favourite returns to the quarterfinals of the Swiss Indoors for the first time in five years.

Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available