Woman who caused fatal crash stopping for ducks to be sentenced

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A case that has drawn out raw emotions across Canada will be coming to

a conclusion on Thursday.

Superior Court Judge Elaine Perrault in Quebec is expected to announce

the sentence for 26-year-old Emma Czornobaj, a motorist who stopped

her car in the left lane of a highway in the Montreal area in 2010 to

check on some ducklings on the road, leading to the death of a

motorcyclist and his teen daughter.

Though the maximum sentences for the crimes for which Czornobaj has

been convicted are life in prison, thousands of people have signed

petitions asking for leniency for Czornobaj. But the family of the

motorcyclist Andre Roy, then 50, and Jessie Roy, 16, who rode on the

back of the motorcycle, have said Czornobaj did not show remorse or

apologize to them in a timely way when she had the opportunity.

Reached Tuesday night at home, Pauline Volikakis, Andre Roy's wife and

Jesse Roy's mother, said she had no comment on the case. "I'll wait to

see what's going on," Volikakis said, referring to the judge's


Defense lawyer Marc Labelle did not respond to voice mail messages

left with his office. Labelle has said that his client "was stupid"

but did not act under any ill will.

On June 27, 2010, Czornobaj was driving westbound along Highway 30 in

Candiac, Quebec, a suburb of Montreal, when she came upon about seven

ducklings in the road.

She stopped her Honda Civic in the left lane of the highway to make

sure the ducklings were OK. While she was stopped, Roy's motorcycle

crashed into the rear of her car.

Czornobaj initially told police she had her hazard lights on, but

witnesses testified in court that she did not, according to the

National Post.

An expert with the Quebec national police, the Surete du Quebec,

estimated that Roy was driving his motorcycle at about 65

miles-per-hour when he struck the back of Czornobaj's Honda Civic,

according to the National Post. Andre Roy died immediately and Jessie

Roy died later at a hospital.

The case has stirred emotions in Canada. Thousands of people have

signed a petition on the website Change.org asking for leniency for

Czornobaj, and a recent editorial declared that punishing Czornobaj

would not bring back the father and daughter killed.

But the family of the victims have said Czornobaj has not shown

compassion toward them. Though Czornobaj publicly apologized to the

family in July, she never did in person when she had the chance,

Volikakis said.

"She never once tried to contact me," Volikakis said, explaining she

once ran into Czornobaj in a restroom during the trial. "She held a

straight face and looked the other way," Volikakis said.

Czornobaj's mother, Mary Hogan, said during a hearing that the

incident had changed her daughter.

"It was something she couldn't talk about or share with us at all,"

Hogan said. "She just couldn't accept that it had happened."

On June 20, almost four years to the day of the fatal accident, a

Canadian jury found Czornobaj guilty of two counts of criminal

negligence causing death, which carries a maximum life sentence, and

dangerous operation of a motor vehicle leading to death, which carries

a maximum sentence of 14 years.

The prosector, Annie Claude Chasse, asked that Czornobaj serve nine

months in prison and 240 hours of community service. Labelle agreed

with the community service but asked that Czornobaj served no jail


Volikakis told Canada's National Post that she had never received an

apology from Czornobaj.

Czornobaj's mother, Mary Hogan, told the National Post that her

daughter was on the dean's list and headed for a successful life when

the accident happened. Now, now one will hire her. "It changed who she

was at her very core," Hogan told the news organization.


Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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