Lorry driver dies after he was attacked by three Calais migrants

Lorry driver dies after he was attacked by three Calais migrants who tried to sneak into his vehicle to reach Britain

  • The incident took place at a rest area along the A16 motorway in Beuvrequen
  • The driver of the truck reportedly told three migrants to get off his trailer
  • This led to an altercation, with one of the migrants allegedly punching the driver
  • His co-driver told investigators that he suffered a heart attack five minutes later 

A lorry driver died on Sunday evening after being attacked by three migrants who climbed onto his truck in an attempt to reach the UK, according to reports.

The incident took place at a rest area along the A16 motorway in Beuvrequen, where the lorry driver was punched before suffering a fatal heart attack five minutes later.

According to France Bleu, the driver – a Portuguese national – had attempted to remove the three migrants from his trailer.

A lorry driver died on Sunday evening after an altercation with three migrants who climbed onto his truck in an attempt to reach the UK, according to reports. Pictured: Migrants on the roof of a lorry along the A16 in Calais [file photo]

Investigators were told by the co-driver, also a Portuguese national, that the truck driver was punched by one of the migrants after he ordered them to leave.

The news website reported that the driver had been suffering from prior health conditions, and was already being treated for a heart issue.

He was overweight and a smoker, France Bleu reported.

Police were called on the spot at the Epitre motorway rest area around 10:30 p.m.

Local investigations into the full details of the incident are still underway, with officials saying the driver had reported the migrants on his trailer to the police.

Sunday evening’s clash was not the first violent incident involving drivers and migrants hoping to reach the UK via Calais.

In 2017, a Polish driver of a van was killed after migrants put tree trunks on roads to slow traffic and sneak on to lorries. Nine Eritrean nationals were later arrested over the incident.

In the same year, a migrant struck a lorry driver in the head with a brick as others hijacked the man’s vehicle.

Both of the incidents in 2017 also occurred on the A16. 

In May this year, a British haulier accused migrants in Calais of attacking one of his company’s lorries in an attempt to cross the English channel.


A British haulier accused migrants in Calais of attacking one of their lorries in an alleged desperate attempt to cross the English channel in May this year. Pictured: Damage to the lorry

Ed Rogers, owner of E.M. Rogers Transport, told the MailOnline that one of his lorries was attacked in France with iron bars and breeze blocks in a road ambush. 

In December last year, it was reported that a gang of 15 migrants left a British driver bloodied after smashing the window of his cab with a rock as he waited in a queue.

Andy Couper, 57, was left with blood pouring down his face after being attacked by the gang while waiting in his vegetable-filled lorry to board a ferry at the French port.

He told The Telegraph after the incident how some of the migrants tried to get into his lorry before ‘someone hit the truck’ and the ‘whole passenger window’ was smashed, leaving him injured. 

News of the incident comes as the Paris prosecutor’s office said it has received a manslaughter lawsuit for failure to help in the tragic capsizing last month of a boat in the English Channel that cost the lives of at least 27 people trying to reach Britain. 

The manslaughter lawsuit, filed Friday by the French humanitarian organisation Utopia 56, accuses the maritime prefect of the Channel and North Sea, the Regional Operational Centre for Surveillance and Rescue of Gris-Nez in the Pas-de-Calais and the British Coast Guard of not doing enough to prevent the deaths.

Utopia 56 said it ‘intends that investigations be carried out to determine the responsibilities of the French and British rescue services in this tragedy,’ adding that the people were abandoned ‘despite calls to the English and French rescue services.’

In London, proceedings have also formally been launched by families of victims from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Pictured: An aerial view shows dinghies stored in a Port Authority yard, believed to have been used by migrants picked up at sea whilst crossing the English Channel, in Dover, southeast England, on December 21, 2021

Earlier this month, 26 victims were formally identified, including seven women, a teenager and a 7-year-old girl. The identity of one migrant remains unknown.  

Investigators were able to confirm the identity of 16 Iraqi Kurds, including four women, a 16-year-old teenager and a 7-year-old girl. 

The victims also included an Iranian Kurd, three Ethiopians including two women, a Somali woman, four Afghan men and an Egyptian man, the statement said. The adults ranged in age from 19 to 46.

Their boat capsized on Nov. 24 off the coast of northern France, in what the country’s interior minister called the biggest migration tragedy on the dangerous crossing to Britain to date.

Ever-increasing numbers of people fleeing conflicts or poverty are risking the perilous journey from France, hoping to win asylum or find better opportunities in Britain. The crossings have tripled this year compared to 2020.

The tragedy prompted a new political crisis between Britain and France, who each accused each other of not doing enough to deter people from crossing the Channel.

European migration officials agreed to send a plane to monitor the shores of the English Channel for smuggling activity. 

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