French fam­ily leave child, 3, at high­way rest stop

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A fam­ily on their way to the French Riviera for their hol­i­days left their three-year-old daugh­ter in a high­way rest stop Sun­day and drove more than 150 kilo­me­ters be­fore re­al­iz­ing they had “for­got­ten” her, po­lice said.

They only twigged she was miss­ing when an alert was is­sued on French ra­dio, of­fi­cers said.

The child was found by other hol­i­day­mak­ers in a rest area off the A7 “Au­toroute du Soleil” (High­way of the Sun) near Lo­riol in the Drome re­gion of south­ern France just af­ter lunch on Sun­day.

All she could tell them was that she had a brother and a sis­ter and that she was “go­ing to the sea­side” when she saw “daddy’s car pull away,” a po­lice of­fi­cer told AFP.

It was only when they heard the alert — 45 min­utes af­ter the child had been found — that the par­ents called the po­lice and turned around to drive back up the mo­tor­way.

“The fam­ily had passed Aix-enProvence (150 kilo­me­ters away) and were go­ing to­wards Sain­tRaphael and none of them had no­ticed she wasn’t there,” the of­fi­cer said.

The par­ents were be­ing ques­tioned Sun­day evening by of­fi­cers at the po­lice sta­tion where the child was be­ing looked af­ter.

“We are go­ing to lis­ten to what they have to say and talk to the pros­e­cu­tor at Va­lence to see if this should be taken fur­ther,” the of­fi­cer added.

Mil­lions of French fam­i­lies take to the roads dur­ing Au­gust’s an­nual hol­i­day rush to the sea and moun­tains, putting of­ten un­bear­able strain on the coun­try’s mo­tor­way sys­tem and their own nerves.

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