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Sunday, 16 July, 2000, 21:24 GMT 22:24 UK
Boy killed during Tour de France
Start of 13th stage of the Tour de France
The accident happened on the 13th stage of the race
A 12-year-old boy has died after being hit by a support vehicle during the Tour de France cycle race.

According to hospital officials in Marseille, he died on Sunday as a result of head injuries.

The accident happened during the 13th stage of the race from Avignon to Draguignan in the southern region of Provence on Friday.

The boy's injuries were caused when the driver of a publicity car lost control of his vehicle on a winding road near Ginasservis, 117km out from the start.

Supporters lining the route
Supporters line the length of the route
The driver had swerved along the shoulder of the road to make room for a passing car as fans lined the route to watch the cyclists heading to Draguignan.

An emergency helicopter took the boy to the Timone hospital in the southern port city of Marseille.

Doctors treated him for cranial trauma and hip and femur injuries, but he was in a coma and never regained consciousness.

After the accident the Tour de France director, Jean-Marie Leblanc, urged caution.

He advised spectators and drivers of vehicles preceding and trailing the cyclists to be careful during the race.

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