​Canadian Woman Stops to Save Baby Ducks, Causes Fatal Car Crash

Illustration for article titled ​Canadian Woman Stops to Save Baby Ducks, Causes Fatal Car Crash

On Friday, Emma Czornobaj was convicted on two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death. Her crime? Stopping her car on the left lane of a highway south of Montreal to help a group of motherless ducklings. This caused 50-year-old motorcyclist Andre Roy to slam into her Honda Civic, killing him and his 16-year-old daughter Jessie. Everything is terrible.

According to AP:

Czornobaj, a self-professed animal lover, told the court that she did not see the ducklings' mother anywhere and planned to capture them and take them home.


Uhhhh, sure I love me some cute things. I often write about them. I understand the urge to want to save baby ducks. But fully stopping a car in the passing lane of a highway is an insanely dumb thing to do. Roy was believed to have been traveling between 113 and 129 km/hr or around 75 mph, when he hit Czornobaj's stopped car.

Czornobaj's pre-sentence hearing is on August 8—she faces a maximum life sentence. As for Pauline Volikakis, who lost her husband and daughter in the crash, the sentence doesn't mean that much:

"I don't wish misfortune on anyone," Volikakis said. "It's time that we go on. This will not bring (back) my loved ones."

Image via Getty.

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I'm not victim blaming, but didn't the motorcycle rider also have a responsibility to be watching out for traffic in front of him? I've heard of so many accidents that are the opposite scenario, where someone stopped on the side of the road is injured or killed by an inattentive or impaired driver plowing into them. It is your responsibility when driving to maintain a safe stopping distance from vehicles in front of you. Did this woman just slam on her brakes and hop out of the car in the middle of the highway? It's certainly a bizarre tragedy, but I don't think a life sentence is appropriate. My heart goes out to the victims' wife and mother, who witnessed the crash while riding behind her husband and daughter according to the newspaper article, and also to the driver, who thought she was doing something good. This young woman is not a danger to society and is probably devastated. If everyone got a life sentence for doing something stupid many of us would be in jail.