Police are investigating the suspicious death of a Montreal taxi driver who was found unconscious inside his car early Wednesday morning.
First responders rushed to the scene of what was originally reported as a collision between two cars near the corner of Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road and Darlington Avenue, in the Côte-des-Neiges district.
However, police said the 45-year-old driver's injuries did not match the accident.
"We were able to see that the injuries were caused by a weapon. We do not know so far if it was an edge weapon or a firearm. We're trying to determine that," said Montreal police spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant, adding that investigators searched the area for a weapon.
The driver was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, making it the 28th homicide of the year on the Montreal territory.
Police said the driver didn't have a criminal record.
Victim had been driving taxis for 10 years
Taxi Diamond deputy general manager Denis Laramée said it's the first time in his 16 years at the company that he's seen a case like this, adding that drivers who are victims of violence are usually beaten and robbed.
Laramée said the driver had been working in Montreal for almost 10 years, and he had never caused any problems.
He said the taxi dispatch recorded a call from Dorval, placed shortly before the incident.
"He picked up a customer over there, his trip was still active when police called in, so he was with that customer obviously. It can't be otherwise," Laramée said, adding that drivers at Taxi Diamond are mourning their colleague.
"It's very sad, everyone is down today. We think of the family of that driver, and we offer our condolences."
Some taxi drivers say the death reminds of them of how dangerous their job can be.
"It's part of our day to day — we have to live with it," says taxi driver Theobrun Misien.
Misien says he sometimes picks up aggressive passengers.
"I pretend to call the police sometimes," Misien says, adding that on a few occasions he took a detour in front of a police station to persuade the client to get out of the cab.