Taryn Crawford, 25 years old, was sentenced this week after killing 18 year old Sefatullah Khanzadeh on July 24, 2009, when she slammed into the back of a parked landscape truck on an Edmonton street, pinning Sefatullah where he died shortly after. Rumours that she had been seen texting immediately following the collision were quelled when the Crown Prosecutor demonstrated from cell phone records that she had not, in fact, been using her phone at the time of the collision. She was simply not paying attention.
On June 28, 2010, a young woman stopped in the fast lane of Highway 30 in Candiac, Quebec, getting out of her car to shoo a family of ducks off the road that had decided to cross. Two motorcycles, one carrying Andre Roy and his 16 year old daughter Jessie, the other carrying Andre’s wife Pauline Volikakis, slammed into the back of the car. Andre and Jessie died from their injuries.
On Tuesday, Crawford, the young Edmonton driver, was fined $2,000 and given a three month driving suspension. The Quebec driver, however, is facing charges of criminal negligence causing death. The judge that ruled in Crawford’s case indicated that jail time would be excessive, and that though Crawford was distracted, she had no intention of hurting anyone. Meanwhile, Surete du Quebec Sgt. Ronald McKinnis urged that the young Quebec driver’s choice to stop was inexcusable. “You are not supposed to stop a car in the left lane. You have no place for that.”
It seems that the Edmonton situation largely ignores the fact that four other cars had successfully changed lanes to avoid the truck, the cones, and safely drive away, before Crawford hit the landscape truck so hard her civic became lodged under it. Many observers of the Quebec situation, however, seem to ignore the motorcyclists’ responsibility to watch the road ahead of them. The car was stopped long enough for the woman to step out and shoo the ducks off the road. Although their death is deeply tragic, do the bikers not share some responsibility to pay attention to the road far enough ahead to be able to stop in case of an emergency? Perhaps the young woman’s stop wasn’t an emergency, but a parked car on the highway in front of you certainly is.
Could someone explain the disparity between these two cases?
In both cases, the women were inattentive. The Edmonton driver wasn’t paying attention to what was happening in front of her. The Quebec driver was paying too much attention to what was in front of her, and not enough behind.
The thing I don’t understand is why one person, who killed someone out of complete negligence, is walking away, and the other is being treated like she intended to kill this father and daughter.
I suppose in Alberta, the last thing you want to do is kill ducks, while in Quebec, you are expected to just go ahead and run them down.