July 15, 2014 3:16 pm
Updated: July 15, 2014 7:28 pm

Petition seeks leniency for driver who stopped for ducks


MONTREAL – An online petition on change.org has collected almost 8,000 signatures asking for leniency in Emma Czornobaj’s sentencing.

WATCH: Jury convicts driver who stopped for ducks

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.

WATCH: Raw video: Reaction to conviction of driver in fatal duck accident

“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.”

READ MORE: Jury convicts Quebec woman who stopped for ducks

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READ MORE: Human error behind duck-related road deaths: Quebec police

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.

READ MORE: Quebec driver on trial after stopping to help family of ducks

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.

READ MORE: Duckling-motorcycle deaths trial: victims’ family speaks out

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.

WATCH: Driver takes stand at duck death trial

The petition is aiming to get 10 000 signatures before being presented to the justice minister.

READ MORE: ‘I know it was a mistake’: driver in duck-linked highway crash testifies

“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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