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

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

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

Caitlin Kraft, the sister of Jeffery Kraft, stands third from the left, holding a sign calling for the maximum sentence for Campbell, who is charged with manslaughter. (Photo by Paul Cowley)
UPDATED: Judge again rejects submission of 7-year sentence for slaying of Kraft

Tyler John Campbell charged with second-degree murder for December 2019 homicide

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Pictured here is Stettler’s Jenner Smith with a guide dog from Aspen Service Dogs. An online auction will be running soon to help raise funds for Jenner to receive his very own service dog later this year. Jenner, who is four years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019. photo submitted
An online auction is planned to raise funds for a service dog for a Stettler family

Jenner Smith, four, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Most Read