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

Reuse Rendezvous invites Nanaimo residents to get rid of items that others might want

Annual city-wide swap meet happens Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8-9

MS Society looks for Nanaimo volunteers to offer peer support

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada asks for help with its one-to-one support program

Do-over vote has similar result, 280-unit development in Lantzville going to public hearing

Mayor’s motion to rescind Clark/Medd application’s second reading fails 3-2

Nanaimo asked to get out and hustle for hospice

Nanaimo Community Hospice Society organizing event to replace usual fundraiser hike

Peace ceremony in Nanaimo will be a little different in a pandemic

Hiroshima Day will be observed during the afternoon Aug. 6 at Maffeo Sutton Park

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

City of Nanaimo to look at turning NDSS field into mid-size stadium

Parks and rec will begin stakeholder engagement and begin work on a phased plan for improvements

Woman arrested near Nanaimo’s Westwood Lake after road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Most Read