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Quebec Woman Guilty - Saves Ducks, Two People Dead

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On June 27, 2010, a Quebec woman stopped her car on Highway 30 in Candiac in an effort to rescue some ducklings. Seconds later, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle struck her Honda Civic. The driver and his daughter died as a result of the collision.

She was arrested and charged with 4 different vehicular crimes. On its fourth day of deliberation, the jury found the 25-year-old woman guilty on all four charges she faced, including criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/06/20/jury-finds-woman-guilty-for-causing-deaths-of-two-bikers-when-she-stopped-to-save-ducks-on-highway/

Yes, two people died because of her actions but is “intent” not to be considered in a verdict?

She is an animal lover and tried to save a duck and her ducklings from being killed.

Was this an accident?

What if the animal on the road was a dog?

What if it was a moose?

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What is a "professional animal lover" ? About an hour ago, I witnessed similar "animal lover" behaviour by a motorist as a large snapping turtle was crossing the road (it was main highway bridge ramp). She stopped her Honda CRV in the traffic lane to prevent other vehicles from proceeding, but some motorists just drove around her using the shoulder. She did not exit her vehicle to assist in a more expeditious crossing.

We see this a lot in the late spring when Canada Geese are grounded with their gang broods walking about in metropolitan areas. Most people will stop, to the frustration of drivers in line who cannot see why the traffic has been halted.

As for this case, don't the motorcycle operators share some liability for their own deaths and property damage (speed, distance, attentiveness, etc.)?

Edited by bush_cheney2004

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Wow, they sure got this one wrong on most accounts.

It would appear obvious that the MC driver failed to keep a proper lookout. Seriously dumb verdict.

Professed does not equal professional

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She was parked in the LEFT lane, where most people are going a little faster. Unless you are broken down or something, you should be pulling over to the right. At first I think it was a dumb charge, but I think she should still be responsible, but not sure about the severity of the charges.

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I would agree that she made a dumb move, albeit apparently based on on an act of kindness. I have yet to see a picture on the news to get an idea of the actual "lay of the land" where she stopped to try to form my own opinion of just how "dumb" her move was. As G2 pointed out, perhaps the MC driver wasn't being as attentive as he could/should have been which, IMO should have some effect on her guilt. With those guilty findings she could end up the rest of her life in jail,which seems a bit harsh to me. Of course it's a tragedy that two people are dead. Truly a sad story and it will be interesting to see what happens at sentencing.

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She should be held responsible... I don't think jail time will accomplish anything. It should be loss of driving privileges, community service, etc... Sentencing will be interesting.

This should have ended in a plea bargain... but, apparently, Crown insisted on jail time.

Edited by The_Squid

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I just caught an update on the news with some pictures of the scene but all I could catch was where the bike ended up. Her lawyer spoke and said he will ask for community service and no jail time based on the lack of any ill will. Sentencing Aug. 8

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On first glance at the thread description, it sounds like she was just trying to help.

But when you read the article, she was clearly negligent and foolish. She was on a highway, she did not get out of the lane of traffic, it was at night, and she did not turn her hazards on.

But I don't know what an enormous sentence would accomplish. Their is nothing to deter here, no malice. Just idiocy.

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A couple of articles with pictures

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/father-daughter-killed-because-woman-stopped-car-to-help-ducks-prosecutor-alleges-1.1850997

http://www.cjad.com/cjad-news/2014/06/03/dangerous-driving-trial-underway-for-woman-who-stopped-for-ducks

Obviously you can't fix stupid, she was travelling in the passing lane on a 4 lane highway divided by a median, she pulled over to the edge of the passing lane and left the car door open. She obviously had some time where she got out to look after the ducks before the next car and two bikes came along so I'm not clear on why the bike couldn't go around like the first car did which was travelling behind but managed to veer off to the right hand lane.

Not to trivialize what happened or make light of it, but why were the bikes in the passing lane in the first place and apparently travelling too close. No blame at all seems to be laid on the bikes but I do wonder if they were travelling too fast and should not have been in the passing lane.

A tragedy but I don't believe she should get life...

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She should be found guilty! I'm really sick of people swerving or slamming on brakes to avoid animals. I remember the Vancouver woman who rolled her can into a creek with 2 toddlers inside just so she could avoid hitting some ducks - stupid stupid! I hope they throw the book at her.

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She should be found guilty! I'm really sick of people swerving or slamming on brakes to avoid animals. I remember the Vancouver woman who rolled her can into a creek with 2 toddlers inside just so she could avoid hitting some ducks - stupid stupid! I hope they throw the book at her.

She was found guilty.

How much jail time do you think would be appropriate?

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She was found guilty.

How much jail time do you think would be appropriate?

Well, her stupidity caused the deaths of 2 people. And, instead of throwing herself on the mercy of the court she fought the case to avoid jail time - forcing the family of her victims to go through a trial. Why? So she could avoid accountability to her crimes. How arrogant and selfish can a person be?

I don't agree that jail time should have to accomplish something, what about punishment for a crime - or, have we forgot about that - punishment. Being a woman and living in Quebec, I'll be surprised if she gets any actual jail time, but I'd give certainly give her something.

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Wow, they sure got this one wrong on most accounts.It would appear obvious that the MC driver failed to keep a proper lookout. Seriously dumb verdict.Professed does not equal professional

you need to keep enough distance to stop behind another MOVING vehicle. The vehicle infront of the motorcycle swerved at the last second, immediately revealing a STOPPED vehicle that was parked in the passing lane. It would have been impossible for the bike to stop even following at the suggested distances in the driver's handbooks. She did a terribly stupid thing, parking her car in the passing lane. Two people died from her negligence. This was the right decision.

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Well, her stupidity caused the deaths of 2 people. And, instead of throwing herself on the mercy of the court she fought the case to avoid jail time - forcing the family of her victims to go through a trial. Why? So she could avoid accountability to her crimes. How arrogant and selfish can a person be?I don't agree that jail time should have to accomplish something, what about punishment for a crime - or, have we forgot about that - punishment. Being a woman and living in Quebec, I'll be surprised if she gets any actual jail time, but I'd give certainly give her something.

Everyone has a right to a trial....

How much time should she get?

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The motorcycle was totally at fault. He was travelling too fast for road conditions. Rule of thumb- if you are unable to come to a full stop, you are going too fast.The reason she stopped is irrelevant What if her alternator failed?...no forward motion, no lights.

Normally, I have the utmost respect for the jury system, but this was a miscarriage of justice.

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If her alternator failed and she didn't put the car in neutral and get it off the road, she would have still been at fault for parking her car in the passing lane. The vehicle infront of the motorcycle changed lanes at the last minute revealing the stopped car. Even following at a safe distance he would have had no time to stop. His death was due to her negligence, parking a car in the passing lane for no reason.

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But what's the point of throwing this person in jail? Is there criminal intent? I don't see it. Was it stupid? Yes of course. Let's not go down the American road and wreck any more lives than have already been.

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But what's the point of throwing this person in jail? Is there criminal intent? I don't see it. Was it stupid? Yes of course. Let's not go down the American road and wreck any more lives than have already been.

No criminal intent, but there was negligence and that is and should be punishable.

Her alternator didn't fail, so I'll just call that a straw man. She made a conscience decision that cost 2 people their lives.

I have a job where I put my life and lives of others at risk every day and if I make a poor judgement call that costs lives, I am liable. It's right there in our government regulations.

"Czornobaj was willing to plead guilty as recently as April but refused to do jail time. She now has a sentencing hearing scheduled for August.

Defence lawyer Marc Labelle said his client was shocked by the verdict."

Refused to do jail time! Shocked by the verdict! This woman shows no accountability and just doesn't get it.

Edited by Hal 9000

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If we were able to convict people of "stupid" then half our population would be in jail.

The sentencing will be interesting. If mandatory minimal sentencing was in place anyone convicted of those four charges would spend a many years in jail.

Also, if mandatory minimal sentencing was in place would the crown have charged this woman with those charges knowing the minimal sentence?

If mandatory minimal sentencing was in place would the jury have found this woman guilty knowing the minimal sentence?

Edited by Big Guy

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If we were able to convict people of "stupid" then half our population would be in jail.

'Criminal negligence causing death' pretty much covers "stupid" ... unless there is a case for mental incompetence, I suppose, but I don't think that applies here.

.

Edited by jacee

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If we were able to convict people of "stupid" then half our population would be in jail.

The sentencing will be interesting. If mandatory minimal sentencing was in place anyone convicted of those four charges would spend a many years in jail.

Also, if mandatory minimal sentencing was in place would the crown have charged this woman with those charges knowing the minimal sentence?

If mandatory minimal sentencing was in place would the jury have found this woman guilty knowing the minimal sentence?

What she did was stupid, parking a car on the left of double lanes is stupid, what is also stupid is racing, cell phone use, eating while driving and impaired driving. What these things also have in common at the very root of things is a total lack of respect for everyone else on the highway.

I can't even imagine someone would do that if they were of clear mind (no alcohol or drugs), and she doesn't seem to have diminished mentality - so that leaves her guilty of said charges. She simply didn't have any regard for anyone else's safety. It's basically vehicular manslaughter, with a more palatable name.

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What she did was stupid, parking a car on the left of double lanes is stupid, what is also stupid is racing, cell phone use, eating while driving and impaired driving. What these things also have in common at the very root of things is a total lack of respect for everyone else on the highway.

I can't even imagine someone would do that if they were of clear mind (no alcohol or drugs), and she doesn't seem to have diminished mentality - so that leaves her guilty of said charges. She simply didn't have any regard for anyone else's safety. It's basically vehicular manslaughter, with a more palatable name.

What I find interesting is that most charges are placed and convictions take place under the assumption of a criminal or some other negative intent. Would the mere fact that this individual did not understand the dangerous situation that she caused, be a grounds for a defence of temporary diminished capacity?

An interesting judicial quandary.

Especially if she receives no fine or any jail time.

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What I find interesting is that most charges are placed and convictions take place under the assumption of a criminal or some other negative intent. Would the mere fact that this individual did not understand the dangerous situation that she caused, be a grounds for a defence of temporary diminished capacity?

An interesting judicial quandary.

Especially if she receives no fine or any jail time.

"Czornobaj, a financial analyst who graduated from Concordia’s John Molson School of Business, has no criminal record. She also made the dean’s list at Concordia while she studied there."

I doubt they could use "temporary diminished capacity" here - unless she came out and said she was really baked at the time, which wouldn't go over well either.

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But what's the point of throwing this person in jail? Is there criminal intent? I don't see it. Was it stupid? Yes of course. Let's not go down the American road and wreck any more lives than have already been.

Negligence.

Who says she's going to jail anyway? She hasn't been sentenced yet. Who knows what they'll give her. I suspect she won't receive any jail time at all.

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