A tourist bus driver has been arrested in France on suspicion of first degree murder after a motorist was crushed to death during an alleged road rage argument.
The alleged attack took place this afternoon, by the River Seine and opposite the Louvre Museum.
The 56-year-old victim is thought to have died instantly as stunned passengers on the bus looked on.
A coach driver was arrested soon afterwards, an investigating source says.
“A car was hit from behind by a packed tourist bus, and the two drivers involved got involved in a dispute,” said an investigating source.
“The damage was very light, but the car driver got out on to the road and confronted the coach driver through a side window of the coach.”
Witnesses said punches were thrown between the two men through the window, and then matters escalated.
“The driver of the coach restarted his engine, and turned the vehicle sharply to the left, so crushing the car driver up against another coach.”
The victim, who was aged 56, is thought to have died instantly, while the coach driver, aged 46, was arrested soon afterwards for ‘intentional murder’, said the source.
This means he is suspected of deliberately planning to kill his adversary – a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Neither of the men involved have been identified. On Tuesday night, the alleged killer was in custody in the French capital’s 3rd arrondissement police headquarters.
According to another source, tests showed that the driver’s blood alcohol levels were negative.
A crisis centre was set up for those who had been travelling on the bus, and who witnessed the incident. Many were said to be in a ‘state of severe trauma’.
They are said to come from all over the world, and had just been travelling through Paris’s 7th arrondissement.
A Paris police spokesman said the accident happened in broad daylight on the Voltaire quay, by the River Seine.
Numerous tourist buses – many of the them double deckers with open roofs – operate in an area of Paris where traffic is frequently grid-locked, and road rage incidents are frequent.