Parents of French woman Axelle Dorier, who was dragged 800 meters to her death, say ‘a minority of the population is destroying our nation and behaving like savages’

Axelle Dorier lost her life in 2020. Now, her parents are calling for the two men on trial for running her over and dragging her to her death, to be charged with murder.
By John Cody
7 Min Read

As the trial begins over the hit-and-run killing of 23-year-old French woman Axelle Dorier, the parents of the young woman are speaking out against the two men on trial, saying they represent “a minority of the population” destroying the French nation.

The killing of Axelle occurred in July 2020, and although arrested shortly after the incident, Youcef Tebal and Mohamed Yelloule are only now going to trial two years later. As Remix News reported at the time, the gruesome nature of Axelle’s last moments, who was training to become a nurse, not only sparked national headlines, but also led to widespread protests and social media campaigns.

The parents of Axelle, Pierre and Sophie, are now speaking to the press about what they say is the injustice their family has experienced.

“When we see Axelle or Marin Sauvajon, we say to ourselves that a minority of the population is destroying our nation and behaving like savages who are allowed to do everything: to kill and to rape… There is incomprehension and anger. It’s unbearable,” said Sophie. 

‘We do not understand why they are not tried for murder’

The two men are set to stand trial at the Rhône Assize Court from Jan. 17 to Jan. 20, with Tabal, the driver, being prosecuted for “willful violence resulting in death without intent” and “hit and run.” The other suspect, the passenger, will be tried for “failure to assist a person in danger.” In pre-trial detention since his arrest, the driver, who has no criminal record, faces 20 years in prison.

Sophie and Pierre said that given the facts of the case, the two men should be tried for murder, telling Le Figaro, “We do not understand why they are not tried for murder.”

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“They knew very well that Axelle was in front of the car. They ran her over with full knowledge,” said the family.

They also point out that the two men fled the scene of the crime, only turning themselves in three hours later.

“As soon as they learned that the police had been notified, they wanted to leave the scene of the crime at all costs. They didn’t want to be checked. What they did is monstrous. They are barbarians, Axelle’s life was of no importance to them,” said Pierre. “We expect justice to be extremely firm for the driver but also for the passenger, who for us is just as responsible. They had no right to kill,” he added.

Many critics of the case also question why at least the driver was not charged with murder. The incident began when Axelle was on her way to a birthday party with her twin brothers and another friend. Youcef Tabal, who had just attended a party in the evening, became involved in an altercation with Axelle’s group of friends, who accused him of running over their dog.

Police received a call about the first altercation, and then there was a second call about “a motorist driving a Golf who knowingly ran over a young woman and dragged her for several meters,” according to La Depeche. Prosecutors say Tabal sped away from the scene, only to strike Axelle with his vehicle.

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Axelle had her arm ripped off as Tabal dragged her for 800 meters. Tabal was also driving with a suspended license.

A number of different witness accounts also describe how Axelle was struck by Tabal’s vehicle but actually managed to get up, at which point the “driver then purposefully began accelerating” while dragging her behind.

Her brother, Evan, was one of the first people to find Axelle’s mangled body.

“I saw a large (trail of blood) on the ground. I started to grasp what had happened, but I refused to believe it. The further I went, the more blood there was,” he said.

Evan walked 803 meters, following the trail, until he found his sister’s body at the Gallo-Roman Museum of Fourvière.

“We are in a society where horror is being pushed to its climax. It is time for those who are well-meaning to open their eyes: French society has become savage and barbaric,” continued Gabriel Versini-Bullara, the lawyer for the Dorier family. He described the family as “psychologically broken.”

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In the same month of Axelle’s death, several atrocious killings sent shockwaves through France. Just a week before, 58-year-old bus driver Philippe Monguillot was beaten to death by four migrant men, one of whom was from Africa and arrested in the apartment of Mohammed A, an individual already known to the police. The incident prompted his wife Veronique to tell French newspaper Le Parisien, “We were destroyed in a few seconds, I feel like I am living in a nightmare. A nightmare that is getting worse by the day.”

Monguillot was killed for trying to enforce a mandatory mask rule on the bus and for demanding the men purchase tickets when they tried to force their way onboard.

In addition, on July 6, 26-year-old French gendarme Mélanie Lemée was killed by an African male who ran her over as he tried to escape a police checkpoint. During the police chase that ensued, he fatally struck the female officer with his vehicle, tearing her leg off. Not only was he on narcotics, but his license had been suspended since 2019.

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