Laval police are investigating after a 62-year-old woman was struck and killed by a snow removal truck around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning in Laval-des-Rapides, Que.
The vehicle was clearing snow from the Shell gas station parking lot on the corner of Souvenir and Laval boulevards at the time of the incident, according to police.
“The driver of the plow never saw the woman,” said Laval Police spokesperson Evelyne Boudreau. “The injuries were fatal. The scene is also being invested by the CNESST since the employee was fatally injured on her workplace.”
Laval police have not identified the victim, but Boudreau said the woman was an employee at the gas station who had started her shift just 45 minutes earlier. The woman had apparently gone out to smoke a cigarette.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident. The driver was treated for shock but was not taken to hospital. As of now, police say he’s not facing any criminal charges.
“For the first elements of proof we did get on the scene, there is no criminal intent or event. We’ll see afterwards if the investigation concludes something else,” she said.
People in the neigbourhood who frequent the gas station all remembered the woman as someone kind and respectful who would always say hello.
“I’m very, very said to hear this news,” said a visibly upset Réjean Rouleau. Rouleau said he’d been buying gas and lottery tickets from the victim from over 10 years. “This really touches me. We crossed paths two, sometimes three times per week.”
“She’s always smiling, saying some jokes,” said Claude Homere, who lives down the street from the Shell. “She doesn’t deserve that, No one deserves that.”
Rouleau said he often saw the woman’s son pick her up from work.
“We were able to get in touch with her husband, who works in Montreal,” said Boudreau. “We met him at his workplace and the message was transferred.”
According to the SAAQ there were 776 accidents involving snow clearing vehicles in the province last winter, compared to 670 the winter before. In both 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, there were 3 fatal accidents.
To Laval Police, there’s a lesson to be learned from Wednesday’s incident.
“The vision inside those trucks isn’t a 360 degree vision. You must be aware that the driver is not always seeing you. Steer clear of the big trucks working on the roads,” said Boudreau.