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French Cofidis rider risks seven years in prison and a fine of 100,000 euro after driving the car that veered off the road on Sunday in the accident that killed Arnaud Coyot





26.11.2013 @ 16:09 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Arnaud Coyot's tragic death in a car accident on Sunday will have legal consequences as the car driver, Cofidis rider Guillaime Levarlet, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. If found guilty, he risks seven years in prison and a fine of 100,000 euros.


It was early morning when Guillaume Levarlet started his car to return home from the Bugatti nightclub in Beauvais with friends and fellow bike riders, Arnaud Coyot and Sebastien Minard. What should have been a festive night ended tragically when the car veered off the road in an accident that cost Coyot his life.


The accident may now force Levarlet to put his career on hold. On Monday, he appeared before an investigative magistrate in Beauvais where he was charged with involuntary manslaughter. If found guilty, he risks seven years in prison and a fine of €100,000. Having originally been taken into custody by the police, he was released yesterday.


The first reports from the accident indicated that Levarlet might have been drunk when he drove the car and both Le Parisien and L’Équipe cite a source close to the investigation who said that a blood sample taken from Levarlet showed an alcohol level “very slightly above the legal limit.” The source also claims that narcotics were found in his blood.


28-year-old Levarlet is regarded as a great climbing talent who turned professional with Francaise des Jeux in 2008. After two years on the French team, he joined Saur-Sojasun where he was Coyot's teammate in 2011 and 2012.


A successful season that included a 2nd place in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon earned him a contract with Cofidis and he rode the Tour de France for the second year in a row in 2013. He was set to ride for Cofidis in 2014 but if he is found guilty in the charges, his career may have come to an abrupt end in the most tragic way.


Arnaud Coyot’s funeral will take place in Ons-en-Bray on Friday afternoon.



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