French bus driver dies after virus masks attack

French bus driver dies after virus masks attack
French bus driver dies after virus masks attack

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Veronique Monguillot, wife of bus driver Philippe Monguillot, declared brain dead after being attacked for refusing to let aboard a group of people who were not wearing face masks, holds a picture of her husband in Bayonne July 8, 2020. — AFP pic

BAYONNE, July 11 — A French bus driver declared brain dead after an attack by passengers who refused to wear face masks died yesterday, his family told AFP.

Philippe Monguillot, 59, died in hospital, his daughter Marie said. “We decided to let him go. The doctors were in favour and we were as well,” she said.

Monguillot was attacked in the southwestern town of Bayonne on Sunday after he asked three passengers to wear masks — in line with coronavirus rules across France — and tried to check another man’s ticket.

Two men have been charged with attempted murder, two others with non-assistance to a person in danger and another with attempting to hide a suspect, the local prosecutor’s office said.

The two charged with attempted murder are aged 22 and 23. They were previously known to the police.

Bayonne prosecutor Jerome Bourrier, who confirmed the driver had died, told AFP that he would ask for the charges to be changed to take into account his death.

The driver’s family had organised a silent march in his honour on Wednesday, departing from the bus stop where the assault took place.

His colleagues used their right to refuse to work in the aftermath of the attack but will resume work on Monday under reinforced security, the local operator said.

This will include a security agent aboard the so-called Trambus, long buses which ply through Bayonne and its surrounding area in the usually peaceful Basque country.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin is due to travel to Bayonne today to discuss the security situation and meet the drivers. — AFP

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