19 Jul 2009

Woman killed while crossing road during Tour de France

5:42 am on 19 July 2009

A woman was killed and two other people injured when they were hit by a police motorcycle while watching the Tour de France cycle race on Saturday.

The woman, who was in her 60s, was hit when she crossed the road during the 14th stage of the race, near Colmar in north-eastern France.

Police said the officer fell off the bike, which ran into the crowd.

It was the first fatality since a child died in 2002 after being hit by a car from the publicity caravan.

The biggest accident in the Tour's 106-year history took place in 1964, when a police supply van struck a bridge in the Dordogne region, killing 20 people.

The incident happened in the town of Wittelsheim, near the 38.5km mark, on during a stage covering 199km from Colmar to Besancon.

Meanwhile, police are seeking two teenagers after Julian Dean of New Zealand and Oscar Freire of Spain they were shot and slightly wounded during Friday's ride.

Bike New Zealand says race security should be reviewed.