Quebec truck drivers are demanding action after a fiery collision between two trucks and seven other vehicles on Highway 440 West in Laval left four people dead Monday.
“The problem is it’s coming all from four lanes to one lane to an exit to go on a service road and, after, go back to another entry for the 15 North,” longtime truck driver Daniel Beaulieu explained.
“So, everybody is getting to the same place. That’s why there’s a lot of pileups, a lot of backup, and it’s really dangerous and should change. It has to be changed.”
WATCH: More questions than answers following fiery crash in Laval.
Sarah Gendron, who works nearby, says she’ll never forget the horrific scene.
“We heard a big boom and then I looked up and I saw this big 18-wheeler with a car under, burning,” she told Global News.
She says she sees so many accidents from her office, which is right in front of the intersection.
“[It was] chaotic, policemen jumping off the fence trying to do their best, but it was really difficult,” Gendron said.
“The police and the ambulance, they tried so hard to get them out, but there were so many fumes, it was really hard.”
Beaulieu noted there were public consultations in 2017 to discuss the road conditions in Quebec. He argues the Highway 440-15 North intersection isn’t the only problem area.
“The 640-15? Same problem,” he said, adding that he is demanding more action from the provincial government.
“I think the government should look at itself. Why there was no action for the last 10 years?” Beaulieu said.
“If we don’t do nothing, there will be a lot of deaths, and that’s exactly what happened yesterday. Now, all those poor families, this morning with their losses. I think it’s horrible.”
On Tuesday, Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel promised “short-term action” as he offered his condolences and applauded first responders who helped at the scene.
He agreed that the intersection was flagged as a place of risk — the scene of a dozen accidents since 2013.
One of the changes Bonnardel wants to make is extending a double line to elongate the part of the highway where motorists will be prohibited from changing lanes.
The minister said he hopes to change driver behaviour but will wait for the Sûreté du Québec’s (SQ) investigation to determine what other actions should be taken.
The crash happened at 3:40 p.m. Monday. SQ spokesperson Marie-Pier Lorrain explained a truck hit a car, which quickly led to the nine-vehicle pileup.
The collision killed four people, injured 15 and sent 13 to hospital. Lorrain confirmed three remain in critical condition.
The SQ noted that some of those hospitalized were first responders.
The highway reopened at 5 a.m. Tuesday. Investigators are still working to determine what caused the collision.
Beaulieu is demanding that another public consultation take place in order to solve the road issues.