A grandmother convicted of the death of her 4-month-old grandson in a road accident near Rennes

A motorist from Iffendic was found guilty of manslaughter and released from custody following the death of her grandson in a car accident on January 30, 2019. She had forgotten to deactivate the airbag in her car. The baby installed in the cuddly toy in the front seat was thrown off the roadway when exiting.

This Tuesday, April 12, the Rennes Criminal Court found a motorist from Iffendic guilty of manslaughter for the death of her four-month-old grandson in a traffic accident.

Madeleine X, 57, had forgotten to deactivate the airbag in her Renault Laguna when she installed the infant carrier in the front passenger seat. After losing control when he crashed into a tree on D61 in Saint-Péran, about forty kilometers south-west of Rennes, the airbag deployed and ejected the baby, even though it was properly attached.

The investigation would have made it possible to identify the driver afterwards drove at the legal speed limit without alcohol or narcotics. The car was also “perfectly maintained”, the tires “well inflated” and the brakes “in good condition”, repeated his lawyer.

Maître Philippe Arion was therefore surprised at the hearing about the expediency of this court procedure. “I am not convinced of the usefulness of such a hearing and not sure if it will do much for the family.he had said to the three judges. I didn’t even know this offense existed: it is a European text transposed into French law. Also, I am not able to disconnect the airbag from my car myself! We learn something new every day.”

She cleanses her pain every day

I Arion


“I am not sure if it is necessary to make long developments in this tragic file, admitted the prosecutor. It is a terrible ordeal of life that we do not wish on anyone. The driving error is minor, even very minor: there was indeed a loss of control.

The defense attorney, for his part, said that there was “nothing” to be found in the report to allege “misconduct” on the part of his client. For these facts he had therefore pleaded for the release of the fifty-year-old, or at least for the “leniency” and “benevolence” of the criminal court of Rennes. “Her Pain, She Cleanses It Every Day”he remembered.

This Tuesday, April 12, 2022, the Rennes Criminal Court nevertheless recognized the driver’s “misconduct” and thus his guilt of “manslaughter”: this mother of three admitted she “knew” that the airbag had to be deactivated when a Cozy was installed in the passenger seat, but that she “forgot that day”.

On January 30, 2019, at the request of her daughter and son-in-law, she had actually agreed to transport her grandson due to the unavailability of her usual nanny. She then wanted to take her 15-year-old son to his internship in landscaping. Her husband René would not have made it: an invalid, both of his legs were amputated. Its exit from the road remains unclear: a possible “stain of ice” in a “bowl” could be the cause.

Her “impressive” daughter “continued to speak” to her after the tragedy, the defendant sobbed at the hearing and refused to press charges against her mother. The two faced each other at the Rennes Criminal Court on Tuesday: one in the civil party bench with her husband and the other in the accused bench.

In the end, the three Rennes judges agreed with the prosecution’s opinion, finding Madeleine X guilty but exempting her from punishment. They did not maintain the “manifest willful breach of a duty of safety or care” and settled on simple “negligence”.

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