Death of Daniel Balavoine, a witness recounts : “There were two corpses...”

Already thirty-four years, Daniel Balavoine has left us. On January 14, 1986, the French singer lost his life in a helicopter accident on the Paris-Dakar rally. On Tuesday, the journalist who arrived first on the scene of the crash had confided to Europe 1. Dominique Fillon tells the story of this dramatic evening, while he was covering the race for radio at the time.

We were the only journalists on the spot, when the rumor ran that there had been a year accident. Our mission was to go and check, what we did, “says the journalist with Europe 1. Intervention very complicated. “At the time it happened, there was a radio connection, it has been discovered through the statements of the witnesses on the spot the wreckage of the helicopter in the headlight, and we went down with flashlights we had to search in the debris, “continued Dominique Fillon.

“Two dead bodies that we did not identify a”

It was recognized right away, because we knew them well, Thierry Sabine, founder Paris-Dakar, François-Xavier Bagnoud, who was the pilot of the helicopter, Jean-Paul le Fur, who was a buddy of RTL, and then after, we had two corpses that we didn’t recognizeit,” says the journalist, referring here the remains of Daniel Balavoine. “The fireman who was there to rummage through the corpses to find their papers, and he discovered that it was Balavoine. We did not know that he was on the run“, he adds. The second victim, Nathalie Odent, a journalist of the Sunday Newspaper, was more difficult to identify since none of his papers had been found at the scene of the crash, which “hasbeen held to 20h“.

On this day, the names of the victims were not immediately released. Something unthinkable today : journalists and relief on the spot had not the means to share information of the death of Daniel Balavoine immediately. In addition, they preferred to learn the bad news to the families before it is stormed by the media. “We kept the information all night, while listening to this RFI to determine if they had been able to get the new one and distribute the information through other means. They had not learned, no one knew. It is a thing extraordinary, inconceivable today !“, entrust Dominique Fillon, who added rethink to this drama “all the years“.

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