Protester Killed By Motorist In Accident During French Road Blockades

Sébastien Bozon AFP |'Yellow vest protesters block traffic in the easter French town of Dole

Sébastien Bozon AFP |'Yellow vest protesters block traffic in the easter French town of Dole

At a blockade on a road in the southeastern department of Savoie, a driver panicked when she saw protesters barring the way and accelerated, hitting and killing a woman demonstrator, Castaner and the local prefect said in televised comments. Officials say 47 people were also injured during the protests.

According to the French Ministry of Internal Affairs, about 1,000 protests are now underway, in which 50,000 people are taking part across the country.

It is believed the woman was killed by an accelerating vehicle, which was being blocked by drivers in the Savoie region, in demonstrations being seen as a new challenge to embattled President Emmanuel Macron.

Police at first held back protesters from advancing on Paris' Champs-Elysees, with police vans blocking them from moving down the famed avenue.

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Protesters aim to target tollbooths, roundabouts and the bypass that rings Paris, while the government is preparing to send police to remove protesters and threatening fines. However, protesters and their supporters have voiced anger about other issues, too, including diminishing buying power.

The "Yellow Jackets" are upset over rising fuel prices as well as petrol taxes: for the year in France, the price of petrol has increased by 10-15%, and the price of the most popular diesel fuel in the country rose 24%. Many drivers see them as emblematic of a presidency seen as disconnected from day-to-day economic difficulties.

Robert Tichit, 67, a retiree, referred to the president as "King Macron".

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