The Beaune coach crash which left 53 dead in 1982

On July 31, 1982, a Beaune coach crash in Beaune, in the Côte-d’Or département of east-central France, happened on the French A6 freeway. It is the second deadliest road traffic collision following the 2016 Nice truck tragedy in French history. The accident was caused by driver error and defective brakes, which led to a multiple-vehicle collision. The crash resulted in the death of 53 people, including 46 children. The accident led to legislative consequences and memorials.

beaune coach crash

The accident:At 8:00 pm on 31 July 1982, two coaches left Crépy-en-Valois, a town located approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Paris. They were carrying children and their teachers heading to a summer camp in Aussoisin Savoie, in the French Alps. The two coaches were traveling towards Lyon on the A6 in the dead of night. When they passed Beaune, it was raining and traffic was heavy on a day that is known as samedi noir (“black Saturday”) in France, as many people leave for their summer holidays on this day. Around 1:45 am, the freeway narrowed from three lanes to two, which caused a decrease in overall traffic speed.

When the road narrowed, two automobiles passed in front of one bus and behind the other. They were overtaking the two coaches. A slow-moving car ahead caused the leading coach to abruptly brake at the same moment. A pile-up occurred when the second coach struck the rear of the second vehicle. One of the automobiles’ fuel tanks was torn open, spilling its contents onto the road, where the gasoline caught fire. Six vehicles caught fire. The first coach was evacuated by the drivers and teachers. A wrecked automobile was blocking the second coach’s side exit. Nevertheless, two teachers managed to let around 15 children out through the back of the vehicle, but 44 remained trapped inside along with two drivers and two teachers.

beaune coach crash

Beaune coach crash

Important points Beaune coach crash in the French

  • Victims: The accident claimed the lives of 53 people, including 46 children (44 on the couch and 2 in a car). A coach who was involved in the crash and caught fire was carrying the majority of the casualties. The travelers on the coach came from Crépy-en-Valois in the northern French department of Oise in Picardy.
  • Investigation: Defective brakes and driver mistakes resulted in a multiple-vehicle collision that caused the accident. After being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the driver of the second coach received a four-year prison sentence.
  • Legislative consequences: The accident led to changes in French law regarding the safety of coaches and buses. Coaches were no longer allowed to travel at speeds beyond 100 km/h (62 mph), and the amount of hours that drivers may work was restricted.
  • Memorials: At the scene of the collision, a memorial to the accident victims was built. It comprises a plaque bearing the names of the victims and a sculpture depicting a broken coach wheel. The memorial was inaugurated on 31 July 2002, on the 20th anniversary of the accident.

Beaune coach accident all Childrens

beaune coach crash
  1. Mickaël Dehan, 12 years old
  2. Romuald Dehan, 8 years old
  3. Éric Delacourt, 10 years old
  4. Fabrice Delacourt, 9 years old
  5. Myriame Delacourt, 12 years old
  6. Christelle Fraillon, 9 years old
  7. Karine Fraillon, 6 years old
  8. Stéphane Fraillon, 10 years old
  9. Aurore Guffroy, 8 years old
  10. Alain Guillot, 12 years old
  11. Fabrice Guillot, 10 years old
  12. Christophe Guillot, 9 years old
  13. Thierry Guillot, 7 years old
  14. Angélique Guillot, 7 years old
  15. Jérôme Guillot, 9 years old
  16. Virginie Guillot, 6 years old
  17. Nathalie Hazard, 7 years old
  18. Isabelle Malchien, 11 years old
  19. Virginie Malchien, 9 years old
  20. Bruno Martin, 13 years old
  21. Florence Martin, 9 years old
  22. Frédéric Martin, 11 years old
  23. Elisabeth Martin, 8 years old
  24. Gérald Martin, 12 years old
  25. Stéphanie Martin, 10 years old
  26. Sandrine Michelot, 7 years old
  27. Thierry Millet, 8 years old
  28. Sébastien Richard, 8 years old
  29. Yannick Richard, 7 years old
  30. Christian Syx, 13 years old
  31. Nathalie Syx, 10 years old
  32. Patrick Syx, 11 years old
  33. Valérie Syx, 12 years old
  34. Dominique Paulart, 13 years old
  35. Sébastien Paulart, 10 years old
  36. Arnaud Sitek, 9 years old
  37. Ludovic Sitek, 8 years old
  38. David Hollemart, 10 years old
  39. Philippe Hollemart, 14 years old
  40. Mickaël Guffroy, 5 years old
  41. Ludovic Ruta, 10 years old
  42. Yannick Ruta, 8 years old
  43. Jean-Jacques Pfiffelman, 9 years old
  44. Michel Pfiffelman, 6 years old

In addition to the 44 children, two instructors and two drivers were killed on the damaged bus. They are Bruno Pallard (17 years old) , Odile Hibert (19 years old) , René Lambert (41 years old) and Joseph Bonnet (36 years old).

Five more fatalities, including two children, perished that evening in the Citroën GS and the Citroën 2CV that were also involved in the accident in addition to the dead who were trapped in the bus.

Louis Deyme (24 years old) and his companion Martine Krupa (25 years old) died . The couple came from Witry-lès-Reims, in Marne.

Yolande Leclerc (39 years old) , and her two children Cyril (9 years old) and Arnaud (7 years old) . Coming from Yvelines, they joined their husband and father in Avignon.


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