Page last updated at 14:45 GMT, Saturday, 18 July 2009 15:45 UK

Tour de France spectator killed

Scene of the accident
The accident happened on the sidelines of the Tour de France

A woman has been killed and two other people injured when they were hit by a police motorcycle while watching the Tour de France cycle race, police said.

The woman, who was in her 60s, was hit as she crossed the road along the route of the 14th stage of the race, near Colmar in north-eastern France.

Police said the driver fell off the bike, which ran into the crowd.

It was the first fatality since two children were killed in 2000 and 2002 hit by cars from the publicity caravan.

The biggest accident in the Tour's 106-year history took place in 1964, when a police supply van struck a bridge in the Dordogne region, killing 20 people.


Saturday's accident happened in the town of Wittelsheim, near the 38.5-km (24-mile) mark, on the route of the three-week cycle race that covers 199km (124 miles) from Colmar to Besancon.


"A woman crossed the road and was hit by a Republican Guardsman on a motorcycle," Alain Fontaine, a spokesman for the gendarmerie, told Reuters news agency.

"Then the motorcycle slid and hit one or two more people," he added.

The two injured spectators were a 37-year-old woman and a man in his 60s, AFP news agency reported.

Both are expected to survive, police said.

Riders from the guardsmen - the ceremonial unit of the French police - accompany the riders along the route of the race.

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