Mother of cyclist Justine Charland St-Amour horrified by coroner’s report into death

Justine Charland St-Armour's bicycle painted white
Justine Charland St-Armour's bicycle painted white. Tim Sargeant/Global News

Her bicycle, now painted white, sits as a strong reminder of Justine Charland St-Amour’s death.

The 24-year-old was killed instantly when a dump truck struck her last August at the intersection of Iberville Street and Rosemont Boulevard.

READ MORE: Cyclist dead after being hit by truck in Rosemont–La-Petite-Patrie

A newly released coroner’s report calls the death an accident.

Justine’s mother is outraged. Martine Charland is furious no blame is being placed on the driver of the truck, even though the report concluded he was making an illegal right turn.

“It’s not the bike that killed her; it’s the driver who didn’t do what he was supposed to have done,” Martine told Global News.

READ MORE: Ghost bike ceremony held to honour memory of Justine Charland St-Amour  

On Aug. 22, 2016, Justine stopped at the red light waiting to head north on Iberville Street, the coroner’s report found. When the light turned green, she started peddling forward. The truck driver wanted to make a right turn, even though there were two signs indicating all trucks — with the exception of local deliveries — must turn left.

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The coroner’s report acknowledges the driver wasn’t making a local delivery, but he didn’t obey the rules of the road.

“The driver didn’t receive any form of punishment,” Martine said.

The report concludes the death was an accident.

Dr. Gilles Sainton said Justine’s death was due to the fact she wasn’t wearing a bike helmet.

Gabrielle Anctil represents an organization calling for changes to make the rules of the road safer for cyclists. Since the fatality, the city added a straight, only-green arrow at the intersection to give cyclists and pedestrians a head start on vehicles.

But Anctil says the coroner puts too much emphasis on the victim, while laying no blame on the driver.

“This person got killed and we’re telling her, ‘You wouldn’t have gotten killed if you had been wearing a helmet, even if somebody did something illegal that caused your death.’ That’s frustrating for sure,” Anctil told Global News.

Martine remembers her daughter as someone who loved life. She had just graduated after studying occupational therapy and returned from a four-month trip to Asia.