Quebec hydroplane driver killed in crash during regatta
A hydroplane racer from Quebec is dead after a crash on the St. Lawrence River in eastern Ontario.
The Hydroplane Racing League says 32 yr old Mathieu Daoust from Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que., died Sunday during a qualifying event in Brockville.
Staff Sgt. Tom Fournier with Brockville police is calling the crash between two hydroplanes a tragic and devastating worst-case scenario.
He says: “The boats, which were in lane 1 and 2, were making a left-hand turn, and one appeared to catch a swell and that’s what caused the accident.”
Police believe the hydroplanes were travelling at about 150 miles per hour at the time of the crash and were only 10 metres apart.
The investigation into the collision is still ongoing, according to Fournier.
“We’re at the direction of the coroner so we have to examine things like we would on a motor vehicle accident,” he said. “We have to make sure the vehicles were working properly, we have to look into weather conditions at the time, was there anything in the area that might have caused that, are there steps in the future we can take to make it safer?”
In an online statement, the Hydroplane Racing League described Daoust as a “true ambassador” of the sport and an experienced driver who had participated since 2011.
The league said more details would be revealed in the coming days.
According to a biography on the league’s site, Daoust described moving up to the Grand Prix level as his “best moment” in the sport of hydroplane racing, where vehicles reach speeds of up to 225 kilometres per hour.
He was ranked first in the league for the 2019 season with 194 points.
© 2019 The Canadian Press