A woman who pulled over to the side of a highway near Montreal in order to help a group of ducklings that were stranded there has been convicted in the deaths of a motorcyclist and passenger that crashed into her parked car.
The woman, 25-year-old Emma Czornobaj, was found guilty on all four charges she faced, including two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death. 50-year-old André Roy and his 16-year-old daughter Jessie both died as a result of the accident, which occurred on June 27, 2010. Czornobai claimed that the group of ducklings appeared to be separated from their mother and she was attempting to rescue them and take them home.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Eliane Perreault presided over the case, in which a jury unanimously delivered the guilty verdict.
According to The Globe And Mail, criminal negligence causing death has a maximum life sentence and dangerous driving causing death has a maximum 14 year sentence. Czornobai’s pre-sentence hearing has been scheduled for August 8.
According to the National Post, Roy’s wife Pauline Volikakis claimed that she did not believe Czornobai should have even been charged in the incident. Still, she maintained that the conviction should demonstrate to drivers the importance of maintaining safety on the roads.
“Future and present drivers should know that we don’t stop on highways, and it’s very dangerous. Even if it’s a small animal that we like or that we want to preserve, we should not stop on the highways. It’s not a place to stop,” Volikakis said.