The accident occurred Saturday evening, near Morzine en Chablais, in the Haute-Savoie. A mountain biker, aged 34, was hit by a bullet while riding on a trail at the edge of the forest.
The hunting association of Montriond en Chablais, in Haute-Savoie, had organized a big game above the village. Other hunters from neighbouring associations were also invited. At the end of the day, one of the guests, a 22-year-old man, fired his weapon on the mountain biker who was riding on a track at the edge of the forest.
A single bullet was enough to kill him. The adventurer, Mark Sutton, a British restaurateur had been living for four years at Les Gets, near Montriond station. He was owner of two establishments, one offering a home chef service in Morzine, the other specializing in healthy cuisine in Les Gets.
According to the prosecutor Thonon-les-Bains, Mark was "perfectly identifiable" on the path (which is well-known and frequented by many people), despite being steep and difficult to access.
The authorities mobilized quickly, despite the night setting in and the difficult access at an altitude of 1,350 m. More than 40 gendarmes, including members of the PGHM and forensic police officers secured the scene in the presence of the prosecutor Thonon-les-Bains. The perpetaroter was hospitalized with shock and could not be interrogated by the police or held in police custody.
An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death. The investigation was opened for manslaughter aggravated by deliberate breach of a security duty. The investigation was entrusted to the Thonon-les-Bains prosecutor's office and the Thonon-les-Bains gendarmerie research brigade, as reported by Francebleu.
The fatal accident of Montriond is all the more serious as the Hunters Federation of Haute-Savoie wants to be at the forefront on safety issues.
Three years ago, in December 2015, a 43-year-old father died with a hunter's bullet in the head while running on a trail in the Semnoz Massif. Following this tragedy, the Hunters' Federation set up new safety rules as early as July 2016, such as the installation of signs indicating an ongoing hunt or regulated hunting zones. The Federation has also implemented safety training for three years.
It is the first federation to take such measures in France. According to André Mugnier, president of the Hunters' Federation of Haute-Savoie, all Haute-Savoie hunters must hold the certificate of the safety training for 2019, otherwise they will not be able to hunt. Currently, 98% of hunters have this certification according to the president, who believes that this accident is inexcusable: "I do not admit that, he said, given the efforts we have made on the training of hunters”.