French town pays out over Brit killed by tree

French town pays out over Brit killed by tree
A file photo taken on August 17, 2007 taken in the western French town of Hiers-Brouage after a tree crashed onto a pavement cafe, killing an elderly British woman . Photo: AFP
A French seaside resort has paid out more than €100,000 to compensate a British family after a 62-year-old woman was killed by a falling tree planted in honour of Napoleon's son.

The town of Hiers-Brouage paid out 77,000 euros ($81,000) to the family of Carolyn Thorpe, who was killed by the falling tree as she sat enjoying a mid-morning coffee at a pavement cafe.

Her daughter, Sarah Wright, who was injured in the 2007 accident, received €42,000.

The American ash tree was some four metres (13 feet) in diameter and between six and seven metres high and had been planted on the occasion of the birth of Napoleon I's son, nearly 200 years ago.

It had been preserved as a historic monument but had fallen prey to parasites.

Mayor Jean-Pierre Martinet said at the time of the accident that "everyone thought that it would hold on for a while longer".

The town's current mayor declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

Both Thorpe and her daughter were from the southwestern city of Bristol and had been on holiday in the area.

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