A French bus driver has died after a brutal attack by five passengers who refused to wear compulsory face masks on public transport.
The sickening assault in Bayonee, southwestern France, left 59-year-old Philippe Monguillot with brain damage.
Three passengers are said to have set upon Mr Monguillot after he asked to see their tickets, and insisted they wear face coverings, which are now mandatory in France on public transport as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He died five days later in hospital on Friday, July 10.
He leaves behind a wife and three daughters aged 18, 21 and 24.
Mr Monguillot’s 18-year-old daughter, Marie, said that his family and doctors had decided to “let him go”.
She described the incident as “living a nightmare”.
His wife, Veronique, has previously promised to avenge her hard working husband’s death who was so close to retirement.
Two men in their 20s have been charged with attempted murder.
Two other men were charged with not assisting a person in danger, and a fifth man faces a charge of attempting to hide a suspect.
On Wednesday, July 8, a march honouring Mr Monguillot saw 6,000 angry protesters take to the streets dressed in white.
The mayor of Bayonee, Jean-René Etchegaray, denounced the attack on a “faithful servant of the public service.”
He added: “He leaves the image of a generous man. Support for colleagues in grief. Our affection for his grieving wife and family.”
French prime minister Jean Castex promised that the perpetrators of the “cowardly assault” will be punished.
In addition, Interior minister Gerard Darmanin sent his condolences to Mr Monguillot’s family.
He tweeted: “I will go tomorrow to #Bayonne to take stock of safety in the city with the heads of state services and meet the drivers and unions of public transport.”
The European Transport Workers’ Federation described its sadness and shock on learning of the incident, and expressed support and solidarity with Philippe Monguillot’s family, friends and colleagues.
It called for greater protection for workers in the industry.
“For us, it is essential that management quickly implement measures to ensure the safety of drivers.
“Companies must value lives over profits,” added the union.