As a result of tragically causing a head-on collision while under the influence of cocaine, a well-known French comedian known for his battle with drug addiction is now being charged.
Three passengers in the other car were seriously hurt in the collision south of Paris, which was caused by 54-year-old Pierre Palmade.
During pregnancy, a baby was lost. Her brother-in-law is receiving intensive care along with his son, who is six years old.
Following the collision, two young men in their 20s reportedly ran from Mr. Palmade's car and are now being sought by police.
The accident, which occurred on a side road in the village of Villiers-en-Bière last Friday evening, has shocked French society.
The popular 54-year-old comic actor is well known for his TV and theater roles and has appeared in several Asterix movies, but his struggles with drug addiction have been well-documented for years. Although he was the one who was admitted him to intensive care, his condition has since stabilized. .
He is "waking up little by little and is realizing the horror of what has happened, what he caused," according to Mr. Palmade's sister Hélène, who visited him in the hospital on Tuesday. She added, "He's devastated, he's ashamed.".
The entertainer is anticipated to face charges of drugged driving and injury-causing reckless driving. But if it is determined that the baby, a girl, was alive when she was delivered by Caesarean section in the hospital after the crash, he could face a more serious charge of involuntary homicide.
The mother of the infant in the other vehicle had been visiting her in-laws when her brother-in-law offered to take her and his son home. The 38-year-old man is a three-time parent to an eight-year-old son and a baby who is seven months old.
At a press conference, the family's attorney, Mourad Battikh, described how the 27-year-old woman was able to exit the vehicle after the collision before passing out. She was "instinctively thinking about the baby she had in her womb and repeatedly yelling, 'My baby, my baby!'," according to his description.
She was scheduled to give birth in May to her first child. The legal representative expressed her devastation and desire to remain anonymous as she worked to put her life back together.
After being trapped between the seat and the steering wheel, her brother-in-law is still receiving intensive care. In the past few days, he has undergone six operations.
The accident left his son with facial scarring, and he required surgery for a fractured jaw.
The comedian's family, who the lawyer described as ordinary and hard-working, rejected his apology and stated that they wanted to see him arrested as soon as possible without giving him any special treatment because of his notoriety.
He "will accept all the consequences of his actions with the terrible knowledge that he can never repair the damage he has caused," said Mr. Palmade's sister earlier.
The comedian was arrested again for a drug offense in 2019 after being previously found guilty of consuming cocaine in 1995. He has been very candid about his addiction issues and has frequently talked about them in interviews with the media.
The discussion about drugged driving and the need for more frequent checks has been reignited in light of the accident.