A Montreal family is asking for an apology from the city after a snow plow was caught on camera crashing into multiple vehicles.
The collisions took place during a major snowstorm earlier in the week. One of the family’s cars was hit so hard it is believed to be a total loss.
“It was 8:30 in the morning. My neighbour rang the doorbell and told us right away that our cars had been hit,” said Saint-Laurent borough resident Vince Confuorti.
Confuorti went outside his wife and three sons Monday morning to find their van and Tesla both severely damaged. The side panels on both vehicles had deep dents and scratches. The van’s windows were blown out as a result of impact allowing snow to accumulate inside.
“It makes me sad, that’s for sure,” Confuorti said as he showed Global News the damage on his Tesla Saturday morning. He said he just got the car a few months ago. One of its side mirrors was also ripped off.
The damage was inflicted during a storm that dumped 30 cm on the city, and they immediately suspected a snow plow. Footage from the Tesla’s onboard cameras confirmed the hypothesis. A massive plow can be seen striking the car while pushing snow to the side of the road.
“Obviously, I was pretty upset,” Confuorti said of the moment he saw the footage.
Their neighbour’s surveillance camera also captured video of the collisions. The neighbour’s vehicles had been hit as well.
“They went to the city and complained about it, but they didn’t get much traction,” he said.
Members of the family posted videos on social media where they were quickly reposted by some Montreal meme accounts and went viral.
“Between Instagram and TikTok, I think it’s almost it’s up to almost 10 million views of the two videos,” explained Carla Coyne, Confuorti’s wife. “It’s been a little bit uncomfortable because I have random strangers commenting and arguing, sending me messages, disagreeing.”
Their insurance will cover all the damage, though the van might be a write-off. They insist the vehicles were legally parked.
“We’ve been living here for 25 years. It’s the same thing. You’re allowed to park on that street all the time unless they’re removing snow, and it wasn’t a case of removing snow,” said Confuorti. “They were just plowing the road to the side, then they came to remove the snow a day or two later.”
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According to the City of Montreal website, snow removal operations signs go up the evening before snow clearing operations take place, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and signs go up before 3 p.m. the day of, if operations take place between 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Reached on the phone by Global News on Saturday, Saint-Laurent borough mayor Alan de Sousa did not want to be recorded but said a preliminary investigation done by borough officials determined the snow plow that did the damage is owned by a private contractor.
Regardless of who owned the plow, the family argues the city is responsible for clearing the road network.
“As we started looking at the videos, we knew right away that it was the city,” said Confuorti. “There’s no doubt they should apologize or at least confirm that it was their fault. They made a mistake.”
The family says the incident should be a warning to all residents to be extra careful during snow removal operations.
“If a snow plow can hit four or five vehicles and not feel it, what is the safety like for pedestrians or other people on the road?” asked Coyne.