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Fatal accident highlights dangers facing teen drivers

Watch above: A violent accident involving 5 teens left two of them dead and three of them in hospital fighting for their lives. While police are not confirming that alcohol was to blame they say that speed was definitely a factor in the fatal crash. Billy Shields examines the bigger issue of reckless teen driving.

MONTREAL-EST – A horrific late night crash has advocates sounding the alarm over teens and the dangers of drinking and driving over the holidays.

A black sedan heading west on Notre-Dame jumped the curb, slammed into a tree and continued into the balcony of a house on the street. At press time two of the occupants had died from their injuries and three others were sent to hospital. Police listed them as fighting for their lives in critical condition.

Investigators say speed was definitely a factor, and are investigating whether alcohol was involved. But what concerned advocates the most was the age of the people involved. All five of the car’s occupants were between the ages of 18 and 19.

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“Young people are more at risk when there are many people the same age,” said Jean-Marie De Koninck, a mathematics professor in Quebec City who founded Nez Rouge, a ride-share program that operates during Christmastime.

READ MORE: Quebec teen loses appeal in 18th birthday case

Police are investigating whether the driver was drag racing at the time of the accident, something that immediately haunted another university professor, Nicola Di Iorio. When a reporter woke Di Iorio up around 6 a.m. Saturday morning to talk about the accident, he said “I thought about my daughter.”

Four years ago, Di Iorio’s daughter Claudia nearly died in an accident near his home in the Town of Mount Royal as she was coming home from a night of going out. In that situation, the driver of the car was drag racing a friend, and was charged with impaired driving afterward.

READ MORE: Man receives three years in prison for Mount Royal crash

Di Iorio started the Cool Taxi coupon program in an effort to prevent accidents like the one that severely injured his daughter.

He also said teen peer pressure was a dangerous factor.

“The presence of others triggers temerity, triggers reckless, it triggers all sorts of horrible things,” he said.

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