North

Nature photographer dead after weekend accident in northern Quebec

A 50-year-old nature photographer, John Wapachee from Oujé-Bougoumou, was killed as a result of a head-on collision early Sunday morning near Senneterre in northern Quebec.

John Wapachee had a passion and a talent for bird photography

From Oujé-Bougoumou, John Wapachee had recently moved back to Abitibi region after close to a decade in Toronto. (John Wapachee Photography/Facebook)

A 50-year-old nature photographer from Oujé-Bougoumou was killed as a result of a head-on collision early Sunday morning near Senneterre in northern Quebec.

John Wapachee had just moved back to the Abitibi region after spending close to a decade in Toronto.

He was travelling south on Highway 113 near kilometre 84 around 12:30 a.m. Sunday when he lost control of his vehicle, according to Sûreté du Québec spokesperson Louis-Philippe Bibeau.

"At the time of the accident the road surface was snowy and snow was falling," Bibeau said. 

"[Wapachee] lost control of his car, deviated from his lane and collided with the snow removal truck which was coming the other way," said Bibeau.

An avid nature photographer, Wapachee lived for more than 10 years in Toronto, but had recently moved back to the Abitibi region. 

John Wapachee shared his passion for bird photography on his Facebook page: John Wapachee Photography. (John Wapachee Photography/Facebook)

"John liked taking pictures of nature and birds," said fellow Oujé-Bougoumou photographer Willy Bosum, who along with his brother Harry, runs Bosum Media and Photography. 

Bosum said the three men connected over photography and were talking about creating workshops for local youth.

"John was a good friend to us," said Bosum, adding that Wapachee took beautiful photos.

​​​​​Wapachee was alone at the time of the accident and was transported to hospital in critical condition where he later died. 

The driver of the snow removal truck wasn't injured. 

The highway was closed in both directions until 5 a.m. Sunday, and then in alternating directions until 7 a.m.