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Fatal accident on road 309 in 2021: the coroner in defense of rear passengers

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During her analysis, the coroner refuted several hypotheses on the causes of the accident, including cell phone use, speed and non-compliance of the passenger seat. supplement, which indeed met the standards in force. (Archive photo)

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The coroner of the Outaouais region, Me Francine Danais, believes that the time has come for Transport Canada to act to further protect passengers seated in the back of vehicles.

We know that the front passengers are well padded. There are airbags [and] side curtains. When there is an impact, there is something that will protect you to reduce injuries. In the back, besides the seat belt, there is absolutely nothing, she detailed in an interview with Radio-Canada.

Me Danais made this observation during the preparation of his recently published report following the death of a 5-year-old child, Riley Armstrong, in a head-on collision on Route 309, in Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, December 14, 2021.

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Me Francine Danais, coroner in the Outaouais region (Archive photo)

Sitting in the back of the vehicle, young Riley suffered head trauma, in addition to a fracture of his right shoulder.

In the report, we read that the front seat headrest rose and Riley got out violently hit the head on the stem of it.

His sister, who was also in the back, survived, but also suffered head trauma. The two children were seated in a booster seat that complied with current standards. Their 33-year-old father was driving the vehicle.

During her analysis, Me Francine Danais questioned a Transport Canada expert about booster seats, which allowed her to learn to [her] great surprise that there were practically no studies on the safety of rear passengers and that the cars were not subject to any conformity test.

It therefore made two recommendations to Transport Canada:

< source srcset="https://images.radio-canada.ca/q_auto,w_700/v1/ici-info/16x9/recommandations-transports-canada-collision-route-309-2021.jpg" media="(min- width: 0)">Open in full screen mode

The two recommendations issued to Transport Canada.

The coroner has also suggested to the Société d'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) to allow researchers to access data on road accidents in which there were rear-seat passengers. This would make studying easier, according to Me Danais.

Asked to react to the coroner's recommendations, Transport Canada and the SAAQ had still not sent a response to Radio-Canada at the time of publishing this text.

Fatal collision in Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette: distraction could be to blame

The coroner came to the conclusion that the child died of multiple trauma following a road accident. During her analysis, she refuted several hypotheses on the possible causes of the accident, including cell phone use, speed and the non-compliance of the booster seat.

That day, young Riley was in a car, a Chevrolet Spark, sitting in the backseat with his sister. According to the reconstruction of the accident, the vehicle ended up in the oncoming lane. Another driver, driving a Mini Cooper, was in the said lane. He attempted to change lanes to avoid a collision. The problem is that the driver of the Spark performed the same maneuver.

In doing so, the two cars once again found themselves in the same lane and collided head-on, the coroner wrote in her five-page report.

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A head-on collision between two vehicles occurred on Route 309 in Notre-Dame- de-la-Salette, in December 2021. (Archive photo)

The driver of the Mini Cooper, a 64-year-old man from Cantley , also lost his life.

With information from Rosalie Sinclair

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116