MONTREAL – An online petition on change.org has collected almost 8,000 signatures asking for leniency in Emma Czornobaj’s sentencing.
Czornobaj was found guilty of criminal negligence causing death after she stopped to let a row of ducks pass, resulting in a highway crash that killed a father and daughter.
The petition is addressed to Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée and asks that Czornobaj not do jail time.
“I hope most people will agree that sending this young woman to jail is too much,” wrote the petition’s author, DJ Xfile.
“The worst part is this – She could go to jail for life. Yes, you read that right, maximum sentence possible is life in prison.”
In June 2010, Czornobaj was driving on the left lane of Highway 30 near Candiac.
Police say Czornobaj noticed a family of ducks and came to a full stop on the roadway.
With her vehicle still parked in the left lane, the now 25-year-old reportedly stepped out to help the animals.
Moments later, a motorcycle carrying a father and daughter slammed into the car.
Andre Roy, 50, and his 16-year-old daughter Jessie were killed.
Czornobaj was found guilty on June 20, four years after the incident occurred, on two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
The latter carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
The petition is aiming to get 10 000 signatures before being presented to the justice minister.
“Ms. Czornobaj was acting as a kind-hearted, compassionate person,” the petition reads.
“Please, be kind and compassionate to her. She made a mistake. She knows it.”
The sentencing phase of Czornobaj’s trial is scheduled to begin August 8.
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