Levarlet charged with involuntary manslaughter following Coyot death

Cofidis rider Guillaume Levarlet has been charged with involuntary manslaughter following the car accident in which former professional Arnaud Coyot was killed in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Levarlet was driving the Citroën Xsara that veered off the road near Beauvais, France at 6.30am on Sunday morning. Coyot was taken to hospital in Amiens, where he died from his injuries on Sunday afternoon. Levarlet and the car’s other passenger, Sebastien Minard of Ag2r-La Mondiale, were not seriously injured in the accident.

According to Le Parisien, Levarlet appeared before an investigating magistrate in Beauvais on Monday, where he was charged. Levarlet had been taken into custody by police at the scene of the accident, but was released on Monday afternoon. If found guilty, Levarlet risks seven years in prison and a fine of €100,000.

Levarlet, Coyot and Minard are understood to have been returning from the Bugatti nightclub in Beauvais at the time of the incident. An investigation is underway to determine to precise circumstances of the accident.

Both Le Parisien and L’Équipe cite a source close to the investigation who said that a blood sample taken from Levarlet showed an alcohol level “very slightly above the legal limit.” No traces of narcotics were found in the analysis.

Arnaud Coyot’s funeral will take place in Ons-en-Bray on Friday afternoon. The Frenchman, who retired at the end of the 2012 season, was a professional for ten seasons and rode for Cofidis, Unibet.com, Caisse d’Epargne and Saur-Sojasun.

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