Three children are dead following a incident involving a tractor. Image: Canadian Press

Three children are dead following a incident involving a tractor. Image: Canadian Press

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

A rural Quebec community is in mourning after three young children died on Canada Day after being ejected from the front loader of a tractor.

Seven other people were injured in the incident, police said, which occurred on a country road in the small town of Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, about 55 kilometres southeast of Montreal.

The 30-year-old driver of the tractor has been arrested and is expected to appear in court later Thursday. Police said alcohol could have been a factor.

Police said shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, a farm tractor was carrying 10 people inside its front loader, along with pieces of wood. Anik Lamirande, a provincial police spokeswoman, said for unknown reasons, all the occupants were suddenly thrown from the loader.

Three children aged five and under were killed. The injured include three children whose lives are not believed to be in danger, and four adults, two of whom are in critical condition. Lamirande could not say if all 10 people were related.

On Thursday morning, skid marks and faded bloodstains were visible on the pavement of Rang Sainte-Anne, the quiet rural road where the incident happened. A Quebec provincial police car was stationed in front of a grey house with a red tin roof.

Several pieces of heavy farm machinery could be seen parked next to the fields adjacent to the house. A hockey net and a children’s play set sat in the backyard.

Luc Perreault, who lives nearby, said he heard police sirens racing through the village just after 7 p.m., and rushed to the end of the road to see what was happening.

“I heard a police car coming into the village full speed with sirens on, and then an ambulance and another police and another police,” he said in an interview. He said he saw a parade of ambulances arrive at the scene.

While he said he didn’t know the family, Perreault said he believed the event was likely a family celebration.

“A Canada Day that just turned terrible,” he said.

It’s rare to see people riding in the loader of a tractor, he said, but he admitted to doing it himself when he was a child.

“We used to do that when we were kids, you know, with grandpa’s old tractor sometimes, get in the bucket. But not to that magnitude, so many people.”

He said the small community of fewer than 700 people is devastated.

“Nobody is smiling this morning,” he said. ”It’s three kids that are gone, two adults seriously hurt.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020.

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Canada’s five big banks join anti-hate advertising boycott of Facebook

READ MORE: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Accidents

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

The remains of Terry Bearden’s property before a demolition crew came in to remove debris. (Photo submitted)
Rimbey arson case may have a lead thanks to reward offered by owner

Anonymous tip alleges the fire was set by three local males

hands
The call is out in Rimbey to sign on with a group that is all about building connections

‘Already, we are building a network where we can rely on each other and help each other out’

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Backcountry skiers are dwarfed by the mountains as they make their way along a mountain ridge near McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to people who use the backcountry in the mountains of western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Avalanche Canada special warning for mountains in western Alberta, eastern B.C.

Avalanche Canada also says everyone in a backcountry party needs essential rescue gear

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Many rural seniors are having to travel a long way to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Stettler residents are being told to go to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose. (Black Press file photo).
Rural central Alberta seniors have to travel far to get vaccines

Stettler residents are being directed to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose clinics

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. Photo contributed
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Calgary police say they received 80 hate crime complaints between January and November 2020. (Pixabay)
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Muslim women fearful following attacks in Edmonton

So far in 2021, three of seven hate-crime-related investigations have involved Somali-Muslim women

Most Read