It was Jean-Luc Marissal, the vice-president of the association of victims of Brétigny (EDVCB), who first took the floor to read the letter from a victim, a woman in her sixties, incapable to go to trial because she was still too upset.
This afternoon of July 12, 2013, Dominique D. was on board the Intercités Paris-Limoges train, car 2, place 32, “leaning against the small luggage space”.
Crossing the station of Brétigny-sur-Orge (Essonne), when a fishplate, a sort of large staple connecting two rails, turns around and causes the derailment of the train, she sees “a gentleman ejected from his seat”.
Dominique D. still remembers “the noise, the chaos, the mountain of scrap” which surrounds him.
In this overturned wagon where there is “no more floor”, she had to “crawl out”, passing next to “this lady whom (she) was convinced had no more legs”.
Marked physically – “fractures, hematomas” – and psychologically – “anxiety attacks that come and will stay” – she has three years of physio and two years off work.
“For two months,” she further explained in her letter read to the court, “I have been working on getting back to the station, going to the platforms, without a train then with a train”.
“The first attempt with an arriving train was terrible,” she says, describing “ants in the legs” when the locomotive arrived.
“The next step will be to take a short trip”, she hopes, a “Libourne-Bordeaux”.
The arrival of the trial particularly disturbed Dominique D., who still wonders “Why them and not us?” thinking of the dead.
After his testimony, other civil parties, the injured or the families of those who died during the accident, took the floor.
More than thirty of them must speak for three days, after six weeks of rather technical hearings.
In all, 435 victims have been identified and among them, 184, including 9 legal persons, are civil parties.
The executive who carried out the last surveillance tour, SNCF Réseau (ex-RFF) and the National SNCF Company are on trial until June 17 for “involuntary homicides” and “involuntary injuries”.