In the area where the ram-truck of Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian killed by the police on the evening of the attack of July 14, 2016, was immobilized, the judicial police officer had to extract the body of a man, pinned under the axle of the rear wheels of this 19-ton.
It was “Angelo d’Agostino, a 71-year-old Italian who was spending a week’s vacation in France” and whose companion also died in the attack, specifies the captain.
“I spoke to this gentleman to apologize for what I was going to do,” says the police officer in a suit, aware that the maneuver was going to “damage a little more” the remains.
On the side of the truck, probably dragged several meters by the vehicle, lies the body of “a teenager in capri pants”, Ludovic R., 15, from Nice, who came to watch the fireworks that evening with his family. “He is the age of my son,” exclaims one of his colleagues.
On the screen in the courtroom, we see a body covered in a blue body bag, to the right of the truck. There are streaks of blood on the pavement.
A colleague of the police officer will insist that the remains of the assailant do not rub shoulders with those of victims in the vehicle transporting the bodies to the morgue: he will be evacuated last.
In total, 70 bodies will be found on the famous avenue in Nice, throughout the murderous route, while 16 other victims will die during transport or in hospital.
“A crime scene 1,850 meters long,” summarized Damien Delaby, judicial police officer who coordinated the first findings on Thursday.
“We are rather seasoned at crime scenes, but we had never been confronted with such a scene”, comparable to “a scene of war”, he underlined.
The description of the truck made by Thierry Pereira bears witness to the violence of the multiple impacts: the vehicle no longer has a license plate or grille at the front, a mudguard has fallen off, multiple “biological traces”, blood, hair of the victims are found on the bodywork.
Throughout the route, no signs of braking, but tire tracks in two places, indicating that the driver deliberately changed course to hit children in front of a candy stand and then spectators of a concert in the pedestrian area of the walk.