Guide convicted over via ferrata death

 October 29, 2014



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A mountain guide has been found criminally responsible for the accidental death of Odile Firmin-Guion, a well-known employee of the Metropole Hotel in Monaco. The mother of two plunged to her death during a team-building exercise in the hills behind Nice last December.

Appearing before the criminal court of Nice on Monday 27th October, Oliver Bres, aged 39, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to one year in prison, wholly suspended.

The tragic incident occurred on 11th December 2013 at the via ferrata in Roubion. A group of employees and executives of the Metropole Hotel, a five star establishment in Monaco, were taking part in the activity, which involves climbing peaks with the help of steel cables fixed along the route. According to the Nice Matin, a double-knotted figure of eight securing Odile to the cable released, and the communications officer fell 20 metres to the ground.

The 40-year-old was transferred to the Saint Roch hospital in Nice suffering severe head injuries. She died two hours later.

Defense lawyer Frédéric Hentz argued his client was not aware of how the accident occurred and that it should not be considered a criminal action.

Following his sentencing, Bres told reporters he considered the decision “unjust” but had not decided whether he will appeal.


Originally published: Riviera Times / Cassandra Tanti,

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