Nova Scotia

Witness says driver who crashed into family was 'loaded'

Two young girls and their mother are lucky to be alive after the truck they were travelling in over the weekend was hit by an alleged drunk driver.

Grandmother witnesses crash that sent daughter, 2 granddaughters to hospital

Driver’s blood alcohol readings tested three times above legal limit in Lake Echo crash, say RCMP. (CBC)

Two young girls and their mother are lucky to be alive after the truck they were travelling in over the weekend was hit by an alleged drunk driver.

Joanne Duffy and her two daughters, ages three and five, were stopped in their Ford Ranger truck on Bell Street in Lake Echo around 8:45 p.m. Saturday, waiting for an oncoming car to pass so she could turn left into a driveway.

That’s when her truck was hit from behind by a man driving a 2001 Buick Regal.

Duffy and her children, Lily and Ella, were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Donna Cameron, Duffy’s mother, ran to her front porch on Bell Street in East Preston Saturday night when she heard the crash.

"I was scared to death when I looked out and seen my daughter and then I knew they were in the truck too, I was just terrified," she said.

Cameron saw her daughter in shock on a stretcher. Her granddaughters were nearby crying.

Not far away a man was having a hard time walking, and trying to take pictures with his phone.

"He was loaded, oh my dear, I don't know how he was even standing up he was staggering all over the road, but I didn't go near him or anything," she said.

The 57-year-old man was arrested at the scene for impaired driving. He was not injured in the crash.

Duffy said she’s just relieved that her girls are okay and she’s just trying to put the incident behind her.

"You don't know what can happen, you don't know who's gonna be on the roads, and you just have to be well aware — and there's some situations you can't avoid.  In this case there was nothing I could do. He was gonna hit me and that was how it was gonna be," she said.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Peter Ferguson said the man’s blood alcohol readings were three times above the legal limit.

"Without a doubt, and the person who was given the breathalyzer, the man, did have a very high readings with his readings being three times in excess the legal limit," he said.

Both the truck and Buick suffered extensive damage.

The accused drunk driver is due in court on July 31 to face charges of impaired driving.

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