Driver purposely steers into French pizzeria, killing girl

SEPT-SORTS, France — A man who may have been trying to kill himself rammed his car into a pizzeria east of Paris on Monday, killing a 13-year-old girl and injuring her younger brother and at least 11 others, authorities said.

The driver was immediately arrested. Police said the man’s actions in the town of Sept-Sorts were deliberate, but not thought to be terrorism-related.

The 13-year-old girl and her brother were among the restaurant patrons eating on the outdoor terrace of Pizzeria Cesena when a man in a BMW accelerated toward them, an official with the national gendarme service told The Associated Press.

The girl died immediately, while the boy’s injuries are considered life-threatening, the official said. At least three others were hospitalized in serious condition, and eight more sustained light injuries, said the official, who was not authorized to be publicly named.

The incident reignited fears in France after a string of attacks in which a vehicle was the weapon of choice. An Algerian man drove his car into a group of French soldiers last week, and an Islamic extremist truck attack in the French city of Nice left 86 people dead a little more than a year ago.

The man arrested in Monday’s attack is thought to have tried to kill himself last week, French Interior Ministry Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television. Brandet said the man, born in 1985, was not known to intelligence or police. He did not identify him.

Two police officials said the incident is considered over and authorities are not searching for accomplices, but to find out what motivated the driver.

A judicial official said Monday night that the Paris prosecutor’s office, which oversees French terrorism investigations, was not involved in the case because there was no proof of terrorism at this stage. A security official echoed that there was no evidence of a political or Islamic extremist motive.

The targeted pizzeria is in a shopping zone in the town of Sept-Sorts about 65 kilometres (40 miles) east of Paris near Champagne country. Police cordoned off a large perimeter of the area.

Just Posted

WATCH: A Russian new year party in Red Deer

Hundreds fill the G.H. Dawe Community Centre for the 10th Russian Children’s New Year Party

Car hits moose north of Red Deer, driver in hospital with life threatening injuries

One person was airlifted to hospital, and another taken by ambulance after… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages to close in 2018

This will be the last Christmas for Red Deer’s Ten Thousand Villages.… Continue reading

Celestial light show can be seen over Red Deer this week

Local students stay up to watch the meteor shower

Businesses to gather to talk about crime

Red Deer Downtown Business Association understands challenges

Watch: Man plays flaming bagpipes while riding a unicycle in a ‘Star Wars’ costume

The sight of Darth Vader, riding a unicycle and playing flaming bagpipes,… Continue reading

Dying man’s wish to see new ‘Star Wars’ movie coming true

A dying man’s wish to see the new “Star Wars” movie is… Continue reading

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Trudeaus, Mulroneys, Erdem? Canadians who could snag a royal wedding invite

Save the date. Kensington Palace announced Friday that Prince Harry and Meghan… Continue reading

More to be done to ensure timely justice, retiring Beverley McLachlin says

Canada’s retiring top judge says more must be done to ensure the… Continue reading

Labrador mayor who was shot in face in hunting accident has died

John Hickey accidently shot himself while checking rabbit snares

Shelter dogs could go vegan in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may soon be home to a lot more vegan dogs.… Continue reading

The coolest way to serve coffee at dinner’s end

I can put together a decent dinner party. But when it comes… Continue reading

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

One of the thousands of firefighters battling a series of wildfires across… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month