2 dead, 9 injured after vehicle strikes pedestrians in Quebec’s Lower St. Lawrence region

Two people were killed and nine injured after a pickup truck struck several pedestrians in downtown Amqui on Monday in Quebec’s Lower St. Lawrence region.

The driver, a 38-year-old man who police say is “from the area”, later turned himself in to Quebec Provincial Police (SQ). He has been arrested for hit and run causing death. A witness said the victims were scattered over a distance of hundreds of meters.

Police say the defendant faces murder charges in connection with the deaths.

“For now, the investigation tends to show that the collision was a voluntary act committed by the suspect,” said the spokesman sergeant for the provincial police. Helene St Pierre.

The incident happened just after 3 p.m. on St-Benoit Boulevard in Amqui, about 350 kilometers northeast of Quebec City.

The two dead are a man in his 60s and another in his 70s, an SQ spokesman said. Children are among the wounded receiving treatment at the Amqui Hospital.

Of the nine injured, two are in a “serious” condition. The other seven are still being evaluated, said SQ spokesperson Sgt. Helene St-Pierre.

Five of the injured were transferred to other hospitals, including three to Quebec City, one to Rimouski and one to Montreal.

A spokesman for the regional health board confirmed that a code orange was declared at the Amqui hospital, which normally indicates a disaster situation or a high number of victims.

A trucker told The Canadian Press that he saw four or five people lying on the ground scattered in the distance, adding that he saw police perform CPR on one of the victims.

“By the time I got there, it was too late,” witness Isabelle Gagne said.

Gagne said he began performing CPR on one of the victims, taking turns with a police officer there until a paramedic arrived.

“She said, ‘Stop it, it’s over,'” Gagne recalled.

The woman, who worked inside a convenience store, said she knew the victims she saw.

“That’s all my clientele, I know them,” he said.

Gagne also recounted seeing the driver travel about a “half mile” driving onto the sidewalk to hit a pedestrian, before returning to the road and then back onto the sidewalk to hit another person.

The SQ does not comment on any possible reason.

Investigators are on the scene.

“Everything indicates that it is an isolated event. There is no longer any danger in the area and there is only one suspect,” St-Pierre said.


Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Francois Legault responded with concern to the event.

“As we learn more about the tragic events that have taken place, I keep all those affected in my thoughts,” Trudeau wrote on Twitter. “And to the first responders: thank you for acting quickly, bravely and professionally.”

Legault, also on Twitter, wrote: “All thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. Thank you to the first responders on the ground.”

Pascal Berube, who represents the region in the provincial legislature, said he was going to the scene and was concerned by what he heard.

– With archives from The Canadian Press

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