Police sources report the scooter fled upon seeing a patrol in Limoges, western France. Officers pursued briefly before stopping. Image Credit: Reuters file

Limoges: A teenager riding a scooter and his adult passenger were killed in France after an encounter with police, just weeks after the shooting of a youth by an officer sparked a wave of riots.

In the latest incident, police sources say the scooter fled at the sight of a police patrol that was preparing to stop it in Limoges, western France, with officers giving chase before abandoning the pursuit.

Police say the scooter then ran a red traffic light and collided with a car, killing the teen rider instantly and injuring the adult passenger, who died of his injuries in hospital.

Limoges city hall said the car was carrying a father and his young children, who were "shocked and traumatised".

On the city's General Leclerc avenue, a major thoroughfare lined with residential buildings, the roadway was strewn with sawdust and crosses indicating the positions of the bodies, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.


One of the crosses, surrounded by traces of blood, was 30 or 40 metres (yards) from the point of impact between the two vehicles.

Police sources said that the pair were riding a powerful Yamaha TMAX scooter and that police "quickly put an end" to their pursuit, "judging the situation too dangerous".

The Limoges prosecutor confirmed police accounts of the event in a statement, adding in a statement that the police car was "at least 150 metres" away from the scooter at the time of the crash, according to witness testimony.

Recent riots

The prosecutor's office said the driver was a 17-year-old, whose scooter insurance certificate had expired, while the identity of the passenger has yet to be confirmed.

Two investigations have been opened, one for the refusal to comply aggravated by deliberate endangerment and the other for manslaughter.

"Our thoughts are obviously with the families of the victims to whom we offer our deepest condolences," the mayor of Limoges, Emile-Roger Lombertie, said in a statement.

The incident comes just weeks after France was engulfed by its worst rioting in years following the police shooting of an unarmed 17-year-old of Arab origin, during a road stop.

In Limoges on Sunday, some scuffles broke after the accident, with some vehicles burned, but calm had returned by the afternoon.

Authorities have deployed a squad of riot police to the neighbourhood where the incident occurred.

The death of 17-year-old Nahel in late June happened when he was shot by police during a traffic stop near Paris after he allegedly refused to comply with officers' instructions. One officer has been charged with manslaughter and is being held in custody pending trial.

His death sparked several nights of urban violence across the country, with incidents of looting amid clashes between rioters and security forces.