Bus Driver Dies After Passengers Attacked Him When Being Told To Wear Masks
Philippe Monguillot, 59, died on Friday (10 July) after he was taken to hospital five days earlier following the assault.
He was left brain dead after the incident, in Bayonne, southwest France.
His daughter Marie told Agence France-Presse that the family and doctors made the decision to 'let him go'.
Mr Monguillot had asked three passengers too wear face coverings on his bus - as is mandatory on public transport in France at the moment. He also asked to see their tickets.
Following his death, two men in their twenties have been charged with attempted murder. Two others have been charged with not assisting a person in danger. A fifth man faces a charge of attempting to hide a suspect.
Thousands marched in honour of Mr Monguillot in his home town of Bayonne on Wednesday. They took to the streets, dressed in white clothing, in memory of him.
Jean-Rene Etchegaray, the city's mayor, said the attack was 'barbaric'.
Posting on social media, he tweeted: "Philippe Monguillot has left us. He succumbs to barbaric aggression in the exercise of his profession.
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"A faithful servant of the public service, he leaves the image of a generous man. Support for colleagues in grief. Our affection for his grieving wife and family."
The French prime minister said that Mr Monguillot's death was caused by a 'cowardly assault', while he was trying to do his job, adding that it 'touches us in the heart'.
Jean Castex tweeted: "The Republic recognises in him an exemplary citizen and will not forget him. Justice will punish the perpetrators of this abject crime."
Le décès de Philippe Monguillot, lâchement agressé dimanche à Bayonne pour avoir accompli son travail, nous touche en plein cœur. La République reconnaît en lui un citoyen exemplaire et ne l'oubliera pas. La Justice punira les auteurs de ce crime abject.
- Jean Castex (@JeanCASTEX) July 10, 2020
While the French interior minister Gerard Darmanin said that those involved must be punished.
He tweeted: "I extend my sincere condolences to the family, relatives and colleagues of Philippe Monguillot, bus driver who was violently attacked last Sunday in Bayonne.
"This heinous and cowardly act must not go unpunished."
The European Transport Workers' Federation said more needs to be done to protect those put in danger while they work.
The union posted on Twitter: "We express our support and solidarity with Philippe Monguillot's family, friends and colleagues.
"We condemn this barbaric and senseless act, and once again, we demand the swift implementation measures to protect workers from such attacks!"
Featured Image Credit: PA