BESANCON, France (AP) - A woman crossing the road during the Tour de France was killed Saturday when she was hit by a police motorcycle escorting riders. Two other fans were injured after the
motorcycle skidded into them.
The early-afternoon accident happened in Wittelsheim in eastern France during the 14th stage, a 124-mile route from Colmar to Besancon, the Interior Ministry said.
Tour organizers identified the victim as a 61-year-old woman and said race medical teams treated her immediately before emergency staffers arrived.
After she was struckt 23 miles into the stage, the motorcycle skidded into two other fans, organizers said. A 36-year-old complained of neck pain, and a 61-year-old broke a leg. They were taken to the hospital and identified only by age.
Lt. Col. Thierry Renard said by phone the motorcycle driver was a member of the Republican Guard and was unable to avoid the woman.
Deadly accidents are rare on the Tour de France. One boy was killed in 2000 and another in 2002 after being hit by sponsors' vehicles. Tour organizers then reduced the numbers of sponsor vehicles allowed on the course.
Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux expressed condolences to the victim's family. Hortefeux also ordered a police inquiry and reminded spectators to take all precautions.