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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:14 AM   #1
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Woman stops car to allow ducks to cross, kills father and daughter on a motorcycle

Glad the ducks made it. So sad and unnecessary. Drivers suck.

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CANDIAC, Que. – A 16-year-old girl and her 59-year-old father were killed when their motorcycle collided with the car of a woman who had stopped to allow ducks to cross a highway.

The driver involved in a fatal accident on a highway south of Montreal Sunday could face two charges of criminal negligence causing death. Quebec law prohibits stopping a vehicle on a highway.

The accident occurred around 7:20 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 30 and Highway 15 on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River.

The mother of the girl and spouse of the man driving the motorcycle were riding on another motorcycle and witnessed the tragic incident.

“The woman was arrested Sunday night and released,” said police spokesman Ronald McInnis. “We have completed our investigation and have handed the case over to the Crown prosecutor who will decide if charges are laid.”
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:13 AM   #2
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It's hard to comment on it without being there and knowing the full situation.

Yes, she may have stopped, but what were the motorcyclist doing? Were they speeding or following too closely to stop? Was it poor weather conditions (I doubt it if the mother/wife witnessed it all happen). Did the car driver slam on the brakes and skid to a stop?

Personally, I'm going to stop if a duck is crossing the road infront of me. I'm not gonna slam on my breaks to cause an accident, but I'm not going to run it over. I would of course throw on my hazard lights as well, which are made to nootify others that you are stopped or moving extremely slowly (they are NOT made to drive in the rain with! Sorry off topic).

Anyways, point is, the article doesn't give the whole story, so it's hard to know exactly why the crash happened.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:20 AM   #3
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^^^^^^^ I agree sometimes things jump out in the road. I've had it happen many of times to me in the middle of these woods in WV. Personally if it had been a deer the store might seem different but in reality its not. I'd say they were either following to close / speeding or the lady simply nailed the brakes and when the motorcyclist saw it, it was already to late.

At any rate its sad to see when anyone wrecks and loses a loved one. My condolences to the family.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:51 AM   #4
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I thinks its oones fault the motorcycle rider would have stopped too.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 05:43 AM   #5
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I've been on the Montreal highway once, and all I have to say..they are crazy drivers out there, you have to have eyes everywhere, and I'm sure on a bike it's even worst. My observation was that everyone was doing 40 over.

Though It's completely STUPID and ignorant to come to a complete stop on a busy highway for ducks. By the time you can spot a stopped vehicle in front of you doing 120, you're reaction and brake time are almost too short to do any evasion manoeuver. RIP.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 05:59 AM   #6
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I think that's right. We're not talking about a road in front of somebody's house, we're talking about a major highway. Stopping a car without pulling over to the side is just about guaranteed to cause an accident, which is why they are laws against it, and why the driver evidently may be charged with criminal negligence. I do not know the likelihood of that happening, the article only mentions it as a possibility.

On a separate but related note, if we are riding our motorcycles and do encounter small animals in the road, please don't risk your own safety by taking unnecessary risks with evasive actions. If you can safely slow or swerve, of course, but it's never worth crashing a bike by trying to avoid something that wouldn't have upset the bike in the first place. The rule I've always been told is that if you can eat it in one sitting, don't even swerve. If it would take a couple meals, then consider avoiding it as necessary.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 06:10 AM   #7
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Thoughts and prayers go out to the riders family. Hopefully they don't let the driver off with a $20 fine like they would in some other places.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #8
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That's awful. I don't hate fluffy critters or anything, but no animal is worth the life of a human. Yes, if you don't swerve or stop for that squirrel or duckling or rabbit or woodchuck or raccoon or skunk or cat it will die, but endangering other people to try to save an animal is ridiculous. Unless it's big enough to cause serious damage to your vehicle or cause a hazard if it's squished on the road, run it over.

The other day I rode past a lady and her friend who had pulled their car to the side of the road and walked out into rush hour traffic on a major highway. One was chasing a fawn across the road with a blanket while the other stood in the middle of the highway with her hands up, trying to stop traffic. I have no problems with them being stupid and caring about an animal more than their own safety, but when you stop traffic on a busy highway, you take the lives of EVERYONE else on that road into your hands. The speed limit is 55, but people regularly do 70+, including dump trucks and tractor trailers. That's a recipe for a pileup if I've ever seen one.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 08:15 AM   #9
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this is so sad, damn... 16 years old...
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Old June 30th, 2010, 08:38 AM   #10
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thoughts and prayers go out to the riders family. Hopefully they don't let the driver off with a $20 fine like they would in some other places.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 08:41 AM   #11
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The wife/mother of the father/daughter that died already made a statement that she doesn't want any charges brought up against the 20 year old driver. She saw it as an accident and said the driver is already traumatized by what happened, and prosecuting her won't bring her husband and daughter back.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 08:55 AM   #12
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I tell my 18 year old daughter that if she is driving over 25mph and an animal runs in front of the car, dont slam on the brakes. It sounds cold, but too many times such situations result in the animal and driver, and others being harmed.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #13
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Those 'ducks' were most likely Canadian Geese... which are treated like royalty in Canada. Unfortunately for the driver, if she had run over the geese, she could have faced charges for that too. I'd ultimately come down to the police and judge's decision. Stop for the geese or plow through them; its a lose-lose situation for the driver either ways unfortunately.

The sensible thing would be to lift all the bloody protection laws surrounding the damn birds! Our laws for protecting them and their habitat is just plain crazy!
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #14
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Yeah, this was all over the news this week. Truly sad, they don't know who's fault it is yet though. Some say the motorcyclist was going too fast and was too close.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:26 AM   #15
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At driving school, they told us that if you cannot avoid the animal, accelerate and hope your bike passes right through it, obviously this wouldn't work for larger animals.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #16
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Thoughts and prayers go out to the riders family. Hopefully they don't let the driver off with a $20 fine like they would in some other places.
Yeah, for now all she has is a fine, it's illegal to immobilize your vehicle on a highway in Quebec. And I believe the Minimum speed was 60 KM/h (35 MPH) on that highway, I was there just last week.

Quebec roads are getting safer and safer for motorcycles every year. We are down like 400% death toll in motorcycle accidents since a few years. Many measures have been implementing to promote safe driving.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 10:00 AM   #17
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Sorry to hear about the incident, especially for the death of a 16 year old. Although it being a highway and stopping your vehicle in the middle of the road is asking for trouble. The only way I would stop is if its some sort of traffic jam. Hard to notice a single vehicle stopped in the highway when everyone else around you is driving at speed. I also say roast duck anyone? They shouldn't have been crossing a highway either, they should know better with all these crazy drivers. In a serious note, my prayers out to the family!
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Old June 30th, 2010, 11:51 AM   #18
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In driver's ed, we were taught to not swerve or lock up the brakes in a car if a small animal crosses the road. Either may cause you to lose control and possibly put other drivers at risk.

It sucks, but there are plenty of critters out there and it's both cheaper and easier to fix a car than a human being.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #19
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In driver's ed, we were taught to not swerve or lock up the brakes in a car if a small animal crosses the road. Either may cause you to lose control and possibly put other drivers at risk.

It sucks, but there are plenty of critters out there and it's both cheaper and easier to fix a car than a human being.
All True.... This is one of those "implied contracts with society" moments.

When you get behind the wheel of a car and drive on a highway where the average speed is 60mph or above (sometimes way above), you are essentially depending upon everyone else on the road to behave in a rational and predictable manner in the interest of the common good.

By choosing to drive on a highway at highway speeds you've essentially signed a contract with all the other drivers around you to drive right on over those cute, fuzzy little critters rather than endangering the lives of the other drivers around you.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #20
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A highway death is always sad--my condolences to the family. Hitting a Canada Goose with a cage could be quite a challenge for a cage and would do some serious damage. A friend recently hit a racoon with his H-D and went down as a result with considerable damage to the bike and considerable road rash for the rider. He still will not wear a helmet and likes riding in a T-shirt and leather vest. I guess it is a lifestyle thing.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #21
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This topic should be in an ethics course. I can't imagine the discussions, and arguments, that would ensue as a result of hearing "no animal is worth the life of a human" and "if you can eat it in one sitting, don't even swerve. If it would take a couple meals, then consider avoiding it as necessary." What if it were a baby crawling in the middle of a busy highway? Would you stop, knowing that you could risk the life of 2 motorcyclists behind you? And if you did stop, would you be considered a hero for not running over the baby or a murderer for killing two motorcyclists? It's funny how the situation would change if the duck was replaced with a human or even a dog.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 02:07 PM   #22
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Well, when I was in Australia, I was amused to find many cars/trucks outfitted with what they refer to as Roo Bars.



not so amused were the dead carcasses of Roos that frequent the highways at night. I like the Aussie thinking of how to deal with things that shouldn't be stopped on the roads at night.

The bars are more for preservation of the vehicle's occupants as it seems if you don't have these bars, the Roos would be lifted up and over the hoods, directly into the passenger compartment through the windshield.

Ducks??? No problem.

As Alex, stated, if you encounter something on the road, it's better not to take evasive action lest you lose control of your car/bike and end up going off the road and making a road kill situation a fatality for the vehicle's driver/occupants.

I was also told, though, that if a collision is unavoidable, try to hit whatever object at an angle/glancing blow as opposed to straight on.

If it's human life vs animal rights... human life wins every time. Baby on the freeway??? You BETTER slam on your brakes!!
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Old June 30th, 2010, 03:40 PM   #23
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Though It's completely STUPID and ignorant to come to a complete stop on a busy highway for ducks. By the time you can spot a stopped vehicle in front of you doing 120, you're reaction and brake time are almost too short to do any evasion manoeuver. RIP.
It's totally stupid to come to a complete stop on a freeway...but at the same time I kinda question why the motorcyclists couldn't stop on time. It's hard to tell with so little information exactly what happened...but that's beside the point. The first time I went to Montreal, some idiot put a stop sign ON THE FREEWAY because of construction. I had never seen that before and we had almost missed the sign. So....ya....while it may 'technically' be illegal for people to stop on Quebec highways, I have to say that based on my experience as a tourist and as a Consultant, Quebecers tend to circumvent the law frequently .

Quebec drivers are nuts too, but that's another issue. RIP to the riders. And a pox to those damn ducks!

Edit: also, I agree that you shouldn't stop for an animal unless it's larger than your vehicle....but this isn't really taught so I'm hesitant to blame people on not being able to react properly to a situation that they may or may not have been adequately prepared for.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #24
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I any situation I try not to break quickly. I've had to many experiences with falling I think I am done with them. Granted, as others have stated, I would certainly try to avoid animals that are bigger than my vehicle. Most of the time, I've noticed, that the squirrels and so on.. still get out of my way just as fast and still miss getting hit by me.

One of my peeves is stopped traffic on a freeway/highway/road even for an accident. If your vehicles can move, fender bender for example, GET THEM OFF THE ROAD!

As for the baby idea... I'd certainly have to break for that. Not so sure about a dog.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 01:44 PM   #25
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Very sad indeed. I feel bad for the young driver who did not intend to do this. I also think it's an example of why we all need to be careful about our following distance. There needs to be time to react should someone stop suddenly.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 01:49 PM   #26
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Almost happened to me today on an empty road....van in front of me slammed on their brakes for a squirrel.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 02:52 PM   #27
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Almost happened to me today on an empty road....van in front of me slammed on their brakes for a squirrel.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 02:55 PM   #28
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I know this isn't a funny thread, but I thought this pic was funny:

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Old July 2nd, 2010, 03:57 PM   #29
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Last year when I first got my Ninjette, I was riding behind a shopping center and a RAT ran right for the bike. I just barely saw him out the corner of my eye before he was under me. I had time to think, "Well, goodbye, rat....sorry about your short life", and that was it, he was done for. I felt badly (yes, even for a rat...I don't kill anything that's not biting or threatening me...not even bugs), but I had no intention of risking loss of control over the bike for it, as I was a newbie rider then.

You shouldn't slam your brakes on a highway, of course, if you can possibly avoid it. Having said that, and while I feel awful for the victims and their families, I feel a little for the driver too. It was a mistake, a knee-jerk reaction, and it will never go away. This accident is the very definition of "tragedy". Very noble of the family, not pressing charges for a mistake.

That's my opinion, anyway. Please don't flame me to death!
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 04:37 PM   #30
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Having said that, and while I feel awful for the victims and their families, I feel a little for the driver too. It was a mistake, a knee-jerk reaction, and it will never go away. This accident is the very definition of "tragedy". Very noble of the family, not pressing charges for a mistake.

That's my opinion, anyway. Please don't flame me to death!

I agree. If there were someone tailing me, I would not jeopardize their lives for a family of ducks, however, if there was plenty of distance between me and whomever was riding behind me, I would be the one who would stop to let the ducks cross (again, let me emphasize, NOT if I had to do a dangerously hard braking maneuver). So without knowing how closely the biker was following or how fast the car driver put on brakes, I can't really lay the blame either way.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #31
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This is terrible. this is why I intentionally aim for animals in the road.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 08:55 PM   #32
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I agree. If there were someone tailing me, I would not jeopardize their lives for a family of ducks, however, if there was plenty of distance between me and whomever was riding behind me, I would be the one who would stop to let the ducks cross (again, let me emphasize, NOT if I had to do a dangerously hard braking maneuver). So without knowing how closely the biker was following or how fast the car driver put on brakes, I can't really lay the blame either way.
Let me get this straight, you would come to a complete stop in the middle of a high-speed highway if no one was close behind you so that ducks on the side of the road could pass? You must be kidding!
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Old July 10th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #33
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I don't know if it's been said already in this particular thread, have followed a few different ones on a few different sites. But what makes this instance so particularly egregious is not only that the driver stopped for a moment, she stopped the car in the middle of the highway, and actually got out of it, leaving it stopped smack in the middle of the lane while she tended to the ducks in front. She wouldn't have been able to get the car moving or identify who was behind and how far, she wasn't even in the car at the time.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 07:48 PM   #34
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I don't know if it's been said already in this particular thread, have followed a few different ones on a few different sites. But what makes this instance so particularly egregious is not only that the driver stopped for a moment, she stopped the car in the middle of the highway, and actually got out of it, leaving it stopped smack in the middle of the lane while she tended to the ducks in front. She wouldn't have been able to get the car moving or identify who was behind and how far, she wasn't even in the car at the time.
I've read a bunch of news stories on this. They all say the car came to a quick stop and the bikes did not have time to brake or veer out of the way. It was also reported that the driver of the car was in the car when the collisions happened. It doesn't make sense if she tended to the ducks, because this would have been after the bikes hit her. Do you have a link to a news story on this?
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Old July 11th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #35
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I think you may be right, and other reports that she was out of the car (trying to find ilnks) must be incorrect. The reason I think that is this story, which quotes the wife directly who was on the scene, witnessed the accident, and said things happened so quickly.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 03:53 AM   #36
LuxMundi
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Name: Josh
Location: Atlanta, GA
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The mother of the girl and spouse of the man driving the motorcycle were riding on another motorcycle and witnessed the tragic incident.
I had to read that a few times, and even go to another article to figure out there was 1 woman following them.

The way it's written, there were 2 women on the 2nd bike, and I don't mean to make light of this situation, but my Baby Momma and my Wife don't exactly speak when they meet, much less ride on the same bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:52 PM   #37
capt_bugaloo
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Name: Bruce
Location: Victoria, BC
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Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Let me get this straight, you would come to a complete stop in the middle of a high-speed highway if no one was close behind you so that ducks on the side of the road could pass? You must be kidding!
Hmmm. I think most of us would behave differently, depending entirely on the situation.

If I were moseying along on a backcountry road with not another car in sight, of course I would want to stop and give the animals a break. That's a no-brainer. On the other hand, if I were driving the 401 during the rush hour, I would not dare to do such a thing. It's all relative. How heavy was the traffic? How good was the visibility?

From what I've read above, it sounds like there was too much traffic for stopping to be a wise decision - but without seeing the exact situation and knowing the traffic level there, it's hard for me to call it.
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