For the first time in Spain, the Provincial Court of Murcia has condemned the parents of children who threw stones from a bridge onto a road, killing the passenger of a car, and ruled that compensation must be paid by those parents.

In July, 2012, a 59 year old man was killed after being hit by a large stone dropped from a bridge onto the vehicle he was travelling in on the La Manga to Cartagena motorway. The 112 emergency centre received a call from a concerned motorist at 22:38 reporting the presence of a group of children, aged between 10 and 15, on the bridge near the urbanización Los Cármenes, in the Los Belones area, who were seen to be throwing stones at cars on the highway. Nearly a half hour later, at 23:07, they received another call reporting that an object had struck a vehicle and hit one of the occupants of the car.

muerto en la carretera de la manga

The blue Renault Clio was hit by a large stone weighing around 15 kilos, which hit the front seat passenger, Gilles Philippe Albanese, a French National who was a former glass cleaner, born in Algeria but now living in La Unión. Having smashed through the windscreen, the rock impacted the man´s chest and it is believed that he died instantly due to the impact. The driver managed to bring the car to a controlled stop on the hard shoulder of the motorway.

A further witness, who was alerted by the noise the impact made, stated that he thought he saw, “three or four kids, aged ten to fifteen years”, fleeing the scene of the bridge. A group of four boys were identified to the police and were said to have been ejected from a community swimming pool earlier. They had then been witnessed by several people throwing stones from the bridge.

The police visited the homes of one of those indicated, a child originally from Murcia who now lives with his parents in Madrid and was on holiday in the area, who then admitted that he was the one who dropped the boulder, identifying two more of his friends, aged 11 and 13.

As the principal offender was identified and was just 13 years of age, he fell below the statutory age of criminal liability, which is 14, and could not be prosecuted for his actions, nor can he face any kind of criminal justice.

Now, in the ruling issued this week, the parents of three children should compensate the family of the deceased man with more than 163,000 euro.

Stone throwing on the roads has become an increasing problem in recent years, but with this ruling clearly stating parental responsibility for the actions of those deemed too young to be prosecuted, the courts hope that the matter will now either start to reduce, or those who share the liability and responsibility will now face the consequences of the actions of those in their care.

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