Three children are dead following a incident involving a tractor. Image: Canadian Press

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

A rural Quebec community is in mourning after three young children died on Canada Day after being ejected from the front loader of a tractor.

Seven other people were injured in the incident, police said, which occurred on a country road in the small town of Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, about 55 kilometres southeast of Montreal.

The 30-year-old driver of the tractor has been arrested and is expected to appear in court later Thursday. Police said alcohol could have been a factor.

Police said shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, a farm tractor was carrying 10 people inside its front loader, along with pieces of wood. Anik Lamirande, a provincial police spokeswoman, said for unknown reasons, all the occupants were suddenly thrown from the loader.

Three children aged five and under were killed. The injured include three children whose lives are not believed to be in danger, and four adults, two of whom are in critical condition. Lamirande could not say if all 10 people were related.

On Thursday morning, skid marks and faded bloodstains were visible on the pavement of Rang Sainte-Anne, the quiet rural road where the incident happened. A Quebec provincial police car was stationed in front of a grey house with a red tin roof.

Several pieces of heavy farm machinery could be seen parked next to the fields adjacent to the house. A hockey net and a children’s play set sat in the backyard.

Luc Perreault, who lives nearby, said he heard police sirens racing through the village just after 7 p.m., and rushed to the end of the road to see what was happening.

“I heard a police car coming into the village full speed with sirens on, and then an ambulance and another police and another police,” he said in an interview. He said he saw a parade of ambulances arrive at the scene.

While he said he didn’t know the family, Perreault said he believed the event was likely a family celebration.

“A Canada Day that just turned terrible,” he said.

It’s rare to see people riding in the loader of a tractor, he said, but he admitted to doing it himself when he was a child.

“We used to do that when we were kids, you know, with grandpa’s old tractor sometimes, get in the bucket. But not to that magnitude, so many people.”

He said the small community of fewer than 700 people is devastated.

“Nobody is smiling this morning,” he said. ”It’s three kids that are gone, two adults seriously hurt.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020.

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Canada’s five big banks join anti-hate advertising boycott of Facebook

READ MORE: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Accidents

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP remind Albertans to practice rail safety

In 2019, Alberta had the second highest number of total railway crossing incidents

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

Sylvan Lake woman says Town’s response time to concerns isn’t enough

Glenda Jackman says it took almost a month for the Town to act on her complaint about a playground

Central zone down to 19 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Provincially, 158 new COVID-19 cases were identified

Alberta politicians reject throne speech

Premier Kenney disapointed with lack of support for Alberta energy

Alberta’s top health official says province is not in a second wave of COVID-19

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that Alberta had identified 158 new cases in the province

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot

Jackpot for the next draw will grow to approximately $55 million

Wilkinson aims to be B.C. premier after cabinet role, working as doctor and lawyer

The B.C. election is Wilkinson’s first as the Liberal party leader

First Nations police services look to throne speech pledge for higher, stable funding

‘I won’t be happy until I hear two words: royal assent’

8 charged, $260K in drugs and cash seized in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Millet Agriplex to become a hub for indoor soccer

Wetaskiwin Soccer Club will be operating out of the Millet Agriplex this season.

‘We’re losing what makes the Parkland so distinctive,” conservation specialist says

The Lacombe district will lose two sites with provincial park status: JJ Collett and the Narrows

Ermineskin Kindergarten has a confirmed case of COVID-19

The school has shut down and Cohort 2 is in self-isolation

Most Read