A British driver who turned himself into the police after running over and killing an Eritrean migrant near Calais may face prosecution for accidental manslaughter, the local French prosecutor has confirmed.
An inquiry into involuntary injury and manslaughter has been opened into the death of an Eritrean migrant, who was struck on the A16 outside Calais on Sunday night. He died at hospital two hours after the incident, while his wife suffered broken bones.
Pascal Marconville, the prosecutor of nearby Boulogne-sur-Mer, said it would likely take weeks to gather the testimonies of others on the scene as they could prove “very hard to obtain from migrants present”. Only then would police decide whether or not to prosecute.
Abraham Reichman, 35, the director of a London-based jewellery importers, was headed towards the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais at about 8.30pm on Sunday night when two migrants ran out into the road ahead of his car.
Mr. Reichman failed to see the pair in the darkness until too late, and struck them both despite breaking and swerving, while his father in the car behind looked on, horrified.
The migrant couple had been part of group trying to erect barriers across the road in order to slow traffic enough to climb aboard lorries headed to the UK.
Mr. Reichman and his father told French police that they had been shocked by what happened and stopped in an attempt to help the couple, but that “several dozen migrants” turned upon his car, causing him to flee for fear of being lynched.
They drove straight to the nearest police station to report the incident. On Monday night he was again questioned by police, but was allowed to leave and return to the UK as they didn’t consider him to be a flight risk. However, he now faces weeks of uncertainty while police decide whether or not to prosecute.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr. Marconville, said: “The father and son were in their cars on the A16 motorway at a point where migrants regularly try to erect barriers at this time. The two migrants were crossing the road and he braked but unfortunately could not stop in time.
“He wanted to stay and help, parking on the hard shoulder, but several dozen migrants starting trying to smash up his car. He was scared of getting lynched so drove off and came straight to the nearest police station to alert authorities.”
He added: “We checked that he had consumed no alcohol or drugs. He was questioned at length by police and as they didn’t consider there was any threat he would seek to flee, he was allowed to leave. He was questioned again on Monday night and will likely be allowed to return to the UK after that.
“In his favour, he tried to help and then came straight to the police, which is rare. We have seen several hit and run cases when motorists have simply driven off after an accident involving migrants,” he said.