Provincial police are warning witnesses of collisions to resist the urge to record and share video on social media, where family members of victims may learn about the loss of a loved one.
While working at a Highway 401 crash site, where a mother and son from Amherstburg died late last month, police saw people filming the crash site and posting footage online.
"Death notification by social media is not right," police said in a news release issued Friday. "How would you like to find out through social media that your loved one was involved in a motor vehicle collision?"
In last month's crash, Lacie Brundritt, 42, and her son Kyle, 14, were in a pickup truck with two other people when a tractor trailer heading west on Highway 401 collided with several vehicles near Chatham. Police say several people were recording the accident on their cellphones.
"One motorist even stated he was live streaming the collision scene," police said. "All of this was being done before police were able to confirm who was inside the vehicle and make arrangements for notifying the next of kin."
Police say they will charge anyone caught recording crash scenes with distracted driving, which comes with a $490 fine.
They also warn drivers to avoid slowing down and gawking at accidents, which can slow traffic even further and could lead to another collision.