Stranded on Highway 13: Report blames ‘system,’ not individuals for weak response to Quebec storm

Click to play video: 'Massive pileup on Montreal highway strands drivers overnight in snowstorm' Massive pileup on Montreal highway strands drivers overnight in snowstorm
WATCH ABOVE: Highway 13 southbound, between Highway 20 and Highway 40 in the West Island, was closed after a pileup resulted in over 300 motorists being stranded overnight – Mar 15, 2017

A government-appointed investigator is blaming the system rather than individuals for the debacle on a city highway last March that left 300 motorists stranded after a major snowstorm.

READ MORE: Snowstorm wreaks havoc on Quebec highways

Florent Gagné released his report Friday and it concludes authorities underestimated the severity of the problems and communicated poorly with each other.

READ MORE: Quebec opposition parties call for transport minister’s resignation after Highway 13 pile-up

Hundreds of drivers were left stranded on Montreal’s Highway 13 on March 14 after a huge snowstorm blanketed the city with about 40 centimetres of snow.

WATCH BELOW: Snowstorm showdown

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Some drivers spent the night in their vehicles while others abandoned their cars and left on foot after waiting hours in vain for help.

READ MORE: Massive pile-up on Highway 13 strands hundreds of drivers overnight

Gagné, a former head of the Quebec provincial police and an ex-deputy transport minister, says there weren’t enough people working in the Transport Department the night of the storm.

READ MORE: Quebec City sees worst March storm since 2008

He adds transport minister Laurent Lessard can’t be blamed for inaction because critical details about the events weren’t brought to his attention.

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