Witness describes fatal crash scene on Sudbury area highway
SUDBURY -- Published with files from Jairus Patterson in Sault Ste. Marie.
*WARNING - Some details may be upsetting to some readers.
More details on the tragic triple fatal car crash that happened on New Year's morning on a Sudbury area highway are coming to light.
Wednesday night in Sault Ste. Marie, CTV News Northern Ontario's Jairus Patterson spoke to the man, Kevin Vaillancourt, who discovered the gruesome scene.
Vaillancourt, a former Alberta road maintenance worker, was driving through Sudbury on his way back to Red Deer, Alberta, when he came upon the crash scene.
He says he called 9-1-1 and did what he could to help.
"I come around the corner and I saw a woman out in the middle of the road flagging me down. It was snowing a little bit, the roads weren't ideal, but they weren't bad. And I slowed down to stop and got out of my truck. She had a little girl in her arms. She came running to my truck screaming 'help her! Help her! Help her!' And I noticed on the other shoulder of the road that there was a young boy lying on the shoulder. So, my first concerns were to try and calm her down and get to the little boy to see if he had vitals. And unfortunately, when I got to him, there was no pulse," said Vaillancourt.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) says they responded to the single-vehicle collision at around 8:50 a.m. on New Year's morning.
They say the preliminary investigation revealed the car was travelling west on Highway 17, near the Highway 144 interchange, when it left the roadway and hit a rock cut.
Police say of the six people travelling in the vehicle, two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene and a third passenger succumbed to injuries in hospital. Two other passengers were taken to hospital, one with serious injuries and the other with non-life threatening injuries. The driver was not injured in the crash.
Vaillancourt says he was shaken by what he saw.
"I’ve shed many tears today. I've called everybody I can think of to talk to. I don’t plan on sleeping tonight. I'll have a hard time sleeping. Some way, somehow we'll get through it," said Vaillancourt.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Police say the identities of the people killed are being withheld pending next of kin notification.
The peer support network has been activated to help local first responders that attended the scene.
Vaillancourt says that he will be using the victims services offered by the OPP once he gets back to Alberta.
"It was devasting to see the destruction. It's hard to think about, it really is," said Vaillancourt.