Comedian Pierre Palmade arrested by the police
French comedian Pierre Palmade, involved in a serious road accident while using cocaine, was taken into custody on Wednesday along with one of his two passengers suspected of having fled.
“Mr. Palmade was taken into police custody at 1:55 p.m.” (12:55 p.m. GMT), Jean-Michel Bourlès, prosecutor for Melun (east of Paris), told AFP. without specifying the place of his hearing.
According to the first elements of the investigation communicated by the magistrate, the vehicle driven by Pierre Palmade struck Friday evening about fifty kilometers south of Paris, for a reason still undetermined, an oncoming vehicle.
The tests revealed that he was positive for cocaine at the time of the collision.
The comedian, 54, and the three occupants of the other vehicle, a man, his six-year-old child and his sister-in-law — who was six and a half months pregnant and lost her baby — were seriously injured.
Pierre Palmade, who was hospitalized in Paris, is now out of danger.
But two of the three victims of the hit vehicle “were still in intensive care Wednesday morning, said their lawyer Me Mourad Battikh, on the BFMTV channel.
The driver “underwent seven operations” while his six-year-old son, “disfigured”, “is fed by a probe”, detailed the lawyer. The third victim, a 27-year-old woman, was expecting “her first child”, “a little girl”.
The Melun prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into homicide and involuntary injuries resulting in total incapacity for work more than three months, per driver under the influence of narcotics.
Witnesses said they saw two men in their 20s flee from Pierre Palmade's car after the accident.
A man believed to have been one of them was arrested in the Paris region, we learned Wednesday morning from police sources.
A woman, who was hosting this 33-year-old Moroccan, was also arrested at his home, added one from these sources, confirming information from the newspaper Le Parisien and the LCI channel.
In addition, the lawyer for a man presenting himself as the second fugitive called the investigators to say that his client was going to surrender, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The comedian, one of France's most popular comedians – already convicted several times for drug use – expressed his “shame” and is ready to assume “the consequences of his actions”, assured his sister Hélène Palmade in a press release on Tuesday.
This accident has brought to light the dangers associated with narcotics, responsible for around 20% of road deaths each year in France.