• Angry drivers protest

  • Police nab 2 suspects

Veronique, wife of Philippe Monguillot, leads a protest march in Bayonne, France

For demanding that passengers entering his bus observe the COVID-19 protocols, a French Bus Driver, Philippe Monguillot has been beaten to death.

Monguillot, 59, died in hospital on Friday after doctors had previously declared him brain dead

According to his family, he was declared brain dead after an attack by errant passengers who refused to wear face masks before entering the bus.

Grief-stricken Monguillot’s daughter, Marie told AFP that; “We decided to let him go. The doctors were in favour and we were as well.”

He was attacked in the South-western town of Bayonne on Sunday after he asked three passengers to wear masks in line with coronavirus rules across France and tried to check another man’s ticket.

Already, two men have been charged with attempted murder; two others with non-assistance to a person in danger and another with attempting to hide a suspect, the local prosecutor’s office said.

The two charged with attempted murder are aged 22 and 23. They were previously known to the police.

The Bayonne prosecutor Jerome Bourrier, who confirmed the driver had died, told AFP that he would ask for the charges to be changed to take into account his death.

The driver’s family had organised a silent march in his honour on Wednesday, departing from the bus stop where the assault took place.

His colleagues used their right to refuse to work in the aftermath of the attack but will resume work on Monday under reinforced security, the local operator said.

This will include a security agent aboard the so-called, Trambus, long buses which ply through Bayonne and its surrounding area in the usually peaceful Basque country.

France’s Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, will be traveling to Bayonne on Saturday. He is expected to discuss the general security situation and meet the aggrieved drivers.

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