A PARANOID schizophrenic grabbed the wheel of the Eurolines coach, causing the driver to lose control and veer off a 70 metre embankment.

The crash, which occurred on Monday, killed an Alicante woman and a French man, who were travelling from Marseilles to Murcia when the accident happened.

The 29-year-old Ukrainian may not be considered criminally responsible, since the paranoid deliriums he suffers means he would not have known the nature and quality of his actions.

According to the prosecutor in Narbonne, David Charmatz, the accused admitted he had needed to go to the toilet and tried to get the driver to stop, but grabbed the wheel when he refused to do so.

As a result, the driver lost control and the coach veered off the A-9 motorway near Fitou, in the department of Aude, at around 01.30hrs on Monday.

The mentally-ill passenger is currently in a psychiatric hospital receiving treatment, and may still face questioning for negligent homicide.

Of the 44 people on board the coach – 10 of whom were Spanish nationals – 30 were injured and two were killed.

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