Quebec road crashes claim 12 lives
It was a deadly weekend on Quebec's roads, with 12 people losing their lives in car accidents between Friday and Sunday night.
Half of the people who died were under 25 years of age.
The worst accident happened early Sunday morning when three young men were killed in St-Edmond-de-Grantham, near Drummondville, Que.
The three were in a car parked on the side of the road along Route 122 when a pickup truck carrying two people slammed into them around 4:30 a.m, pushing the car into a ditch. The fourth person in the car, the 20-year-old driver, is in hospital in critical condition.
"We still fear for his life," said Sgt. Geneviève Bruneau of the Sûreté du Québec.
The men in the car were between the ages of 20 and 26.
The driver of the pickup truck is facing charges of dangerous driving and drunk driving causing death.
There were also three fatal accidents involving motorcycles over the weekend.
In the Laurentians, a man on a motorcycle was killed in a collision with a car Saturday night. Police say speed and alcohol may have played a role.
Two other motorcyclists were also killed over the weekend, including one woman who died in an accident on Highway 20, west of Montreal.
The latest deadly accident happened around 9 p.m. Sunday night in Mirabel, north of Montreal. A 70-year-old woman was killed after one vehicle veered into oncoming traffic and struck two other vehicles, knocking one of them into a fourth vehicle.
Two young people were killed in separate accidents in Trois-Rivières and Saint-Pamphile, northeast of Quebec City, on Saturday.
Young drivers need more rules: Coroner
The accidents come amid renewed debate over the rules in place for the province's young drivers.
New regulations came into effect in Quebec on Sunday that lower the maximum number of demerit points young drivers can have before losing their licences.
Quebec coroner Yvon Garneau said those rules are not enough on Sunday at the scene of the accident in St-Edmond-de-Grantham.
Last May he recommended the government prohibit people under the age of 24 from driving after midnight.
Garneau told Radio-Canada he would also like to see regulations limiting the number of people a young driver can have in the car.
The head of Quebec's task force on road safety Jean-Marie de Koninck said passenger restrictions could work.
"Studies show that when there more than two people in a car, kids easily get excited and try to drive fast to impress their passengers," de Koninck.
He said his group will table the issue for discussion at its next meeting in November.
According to Quebec's auto insurance board, 16-to-24-year-olds make up about 10 per cent of drivers in the province, but are involved in 24 per cent of accidents resulting in bodily injury.