A well-known Innu elder and her granddaughter who were almost hit by a car near Sheshatshiu say it's not safe to walk along local roads.
Elizabeth Penashue and her granddaughter Petshish Jack were walking on the side of the North West River Road near Sheshatshiu on Sunday afternoon when a car carrying three men in their 20s lost control just behind the two women.
"All of a sudden I hear skid marks and I hear it going through the bushes here and then landing," said Jack.
The car whizzed by the women and crashed into a ditch. Penashue and Jack called a family member, who called police.
The two passengers in the car were taken to hospital with minor injuries, and the driver has been charged with impaired driving.
Drinking and driving a problem, say women
Both women said they saw the driver of the car toss beer bottles into the woods, and they said drinking and driving has been an ongoing concern on the road.
'That driver almost took four lives that day.'—Petshish Jack
"The next crash someone else might not be so lucky," said Jack. "Because that driver almost took four lives that day."
Penashue said she wants more to be done to stop impaired driving in the area, and she said she wants the driver to know how his actions have affected people in her community.
"How many people are going to stop walking? No more walking on the road. Look what you've done, look what he did," said Penashue. "The people said, 'I'm scared, I'm afraid. I can't. I'm not going to walk any more on the road.'"
Since the incident, Penashue and Jack said they have had trouble sleeping and eating, and they said they will have to find somewhere else to go for their walks.