Two pedestrians in Canada killed, nine injured as truck runs them over
March 15, 2023 12:48 AM
Two men were killed in Canada and nine other pedestrians were injured when they were run over by a pickup truck in a small northern town on Monday, police said.
Quebec police spokeswoman Sergeant Helene St-Pierre told AFP a 38-year-old local man has been arrested and investigators are looking into whether he ran people over on purpose in the town of Amqui, about 650 kilometers (400 miles) north of Montreal.
Accident reconstruction experts are working to establish the circumstances of the crash, she said.
"Everything indicates that this is an isolated event," she said. "There is no more danger in the area and only one suspect."
The incident occurred shortly after 3 pm on Amqui's main street. The town in the picturesque Gaspe peninsula has a population of roughly 6,000.
The two deceased men are in their 60s and 70s. Two of the injured are also in serious condition, police said.
Some of them were transported to a hospital in Quebec City.
Witnesses told local media a truck hit several people on a sidewalk outside a popular microbrewery, then continued for another 400 to 500 meters (1,300 to 1,600 feet) along the road, swerving and striking more people.
Paramedics reportedly found victims strewn across the road and sidewalks on either side. A damaged stroller was said to be among the crash debris and early reports said children were among the injured, though police have not confirmed this.
The province's public security minister, Francois Bonnardel, said on Twitter that preliminary information suggested a "serious accident" had taken place.
St-Pierre said the driver fled the scene but later turned himself in at a nearby police station.
"My heart is with the people of Amqui, Quebec today," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a Twitter message.
"As we learn more about the tragic events that have taken place, I'm keeping everyone affected in my thoughts."
The incident came a month after a bus crashed into a day care center in a Montreal suburb, killing two four-year-old children and leaving six more injured in what police believe was a deliberate act.
Witnesses who tried to subdue the 51-year-old driver after the crash said he was acting erratically, including removing all his clothes.
In 2018, a Canadian man rammed a rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in downtown Toronto, killing 11 and injuring 16 in the deadliest such attack in Canada's history.
That driver, who was 25 years old at the time of the attack, was sentenced in July 2022 to life in prison.