'Please take the time': Couple sound alarm about leaving ice, snow on vehicles

A Cantley, Que., couple are calling on motorists to properly brush snow and ice off vehicles after a dangerous situation unfolded on Highway 50 in Gatineau, Que., on New Year's Day.

Couple, 11-month-old son unhurt but shaken after windshield shattered by ice from another pickup truck

A couple and their 11-month-old son were inside this pickup truck when ice that had flown off another vehicle shattered their windshield on New Year's Day. No one was injured. (Patrick Louiseize/CBC)

A Cantley, Que., couple are calling on motorists to properly brush snow and ice off vehicles after a dangerous situation unfolded on Highway 50 in Gatineau, Que., on New Year's Day.

At about 1 p.m., France Racine and her partner Carl Taillefer were driving home when their Ford pickup truck was hit by a large chunk of ice.

The impact cracked open the centre of the windshield and sent shards of glass flying onto the couple.

Their 11-month old son was in the backseat.

"We were very, very scared, but we are lucky the three of us are fine," Racine said, "especially our son in the back."

France Racine, her partner and their 11-month-old son were heading from Cantley to Lac Simon on Highway 50 on Tuesday when a chunk of ice flew off another vehicle into their windshield. 0:41

'Please, please take the time'

The ice had flown off a red Chevy Silverado pickup truck in front of them, not far from the Labrosse Boulevard overpass. ​

Taillefer was driving in the left lane and saw the ice come off the truck, but said he couldn't brake or swerve to avoid getting hit because there were vehicles behind and beside him.

He drove for another kilometre before pulling over in an area with a wider shoulder.

The couple say they're lucky they weren't injured or possibly even killed in the incident. (Supplied by France Racine and Carl Taillefer)

Racine said the couple called police but that no officers were dispatched because they didn't have the licence plate number of the Chevy truck. Relatives came to pick them up and their truck was towed to a garage for repair.

She's pleading with drivers to clean potentially dangerous debris off their vehicles.

"Even if you're in a hurry, please, please take the time to clean your car. In the winter there's snow and ice. It's very important because it could save some [lives]," Racine said.

In Quebec and Ontario, drivers can be fined between $100 and $200 for failing to clear all snow and ice off vehicles. Drivers can also have their licences suspended for unsafe winter driving.

If loose debris from a vehicle results in a collision causing injury or death, drivers can also face criminal charges.

About the Author

Judy Trinh

CBC Reporter

Judy Trinh is a veteran journalist with the CBC. She covers a diverse range of stories from breaking crime news to the #MeToo movement to human rights court challenges. Judy aims to be both critical and compassionate in her reporting. Follow her on Twitter @judytrinhCBC Email:


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