"I can’t talk about them": the driver of the Millas bus justifies her attitude deemed cold at her trial

Nadine Oliveira, who was driving the school bus hit by a train on December 14, 2017 in Millas in the Pyrénées-Orientales, has been appearing before the Marseille Criminal Court since Monday. Tuesday, at the end of the day, she confided her feelings to The Independentwhile his attitude has sometimes been decried by the civil parties.

On December 14, 2017, the collision of a TER and a school bus in Millas, in the Pyrénées-Orientales, at a level crossing, killed six schoolchildren, seriously injuring eight others. It is the presence of the bus on the track – and therefore the possible responsibility of the driver, Nadine Oliveira – which raises questions.

Since the opening of her trial on Monday at the Marseille Criminal Court, she has stuck to her initial version, and ensures that she has not ignored the signals announcing the imminent arrival of a train. A version of the facts that the father of one of the six dead saw as an expression of “denial”.

This Tuesday, it was in the press that Nadine Oliveira spoke again, answering to questions from our colleagues from The Independent from a room adjoining the one where the hearing takes place, during a recess. She described the trial as an ordeal, calling it “very, very, very difficult”.

“It takes me back to the day we had this accident, it makes me relive it,” she explains.

“I got stuck on December 14”

In addition to the relatives of the children whose lives were cut short in the accident, some of the injured on December 14, 2017 attend the sessions. They produced a particularly striking impression on Nadine Oliveira.

“I knew there were heavy injuries, deaths, but I couldn’t put an image on it,” she says.

However, the desire of the accused not to meet the gaze of the young victims was noted. She explained it.

“Me, I got stuck on December 14, 2017 and for me they are still children”, she introduced.

“In fact, for five years, even with my shrinks, I have had a psychiatrist and a psychologist every fortnight, these children remain my neighbors, little ones whom I saw every day. Being a mother myself, I understand very well. And for me, I see myself picking them up but I don’t see myself dropping them off.”

“I can’t talk about them”

This closeness, coupled with amazement, according to her, inhibits her: “I can’t talk about them. The children are my pain, I can’t exteriorize it.” However, she affirmed her solidarity with her former passengers: “I am wholeheartedly with them, I feel very sorry for them, and I understand very well that they are angry with me because for them it is me who was driving.”

“It’s this feeling of guilt that I’ve had since the beginning and that I hope one day they will arrive… I can’t say to forget, because it’s etched for life,” she said. prolonged.

However, she promised to go beyond her difficulties to express her regrets to the victims. Finally, “not to them directly”, she warned: “I cannot prepare words to tell them that I understand their pain, it will come out as it will come out. I am emotional.”

Robin Verner BFMTV journalist

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