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CanadaDriver involved in Quebec City car crash missed group of schoolchildren 'by seconds'

20:40  23 may  2019
20:40  23 may  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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School crossing guard Denis Royer was standing in the middle of the road on Charest Boulevard at Victoria Street in Quebec City Wednesday over the Both Royer and Maude-Grenier said the driver avoided cars stopped for the red light by veering into the opposite lanes. Car crashes into building in

Eye witnesses said the car was speeding along the busy street in Quebec City 's Saint-Roch neighbourhood minutes before it careened into the building, quickly catching fire after impact. Driver involved in Quebec City car crash missed group of schoolchildren ' by seconds '.

School crossing guard Denis Royer was standing in the middle of the road on Charest Boulevard at Victoria Street in Quebec City Wednesday over the noon hour, when he saw "a grey blur" speed past him.

"A split second" before, Royer said, he had been holding up his stop sign to help a group of school children safely cross the road.

"I still wonder how none of the children was killed," said Royer on Thursday morning, back on the job in his usual spot, despite feeling "on edge."

The vehicle, later described as a grey SUV, went on to crash through the window of a ground-floor cafeteria in a building three blocks further east on Charest Boulevard, injuring 12 people — three of them seriously.

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Royer said he heard the vehicle accelerate before he actually saw it and told a young boy who had just reached the sidewalk to run.

The SUV "went by so quickly I thought to myself, 'He's going to kill someone,'" said Royer.

Driver involved in Quebec City car crash missed group of schoolchildren 'by seconds'© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation This SUV crashed through a window and into the cafeteria on the ground-floor of a building on Charest Boulevard in Quebec City over the lunch hour Wednesday. The face of the 47-year-old driver, in red, has been blurred to obscure the man's identity, as he faces no charges at this time. (Radio-Canada)

Another eyewitness, Alexandra Maude-Grenier, said she saw the SUV "skim past" Royer.

She was stopped in her car on Victoria Street, waiting for the light to turn green to turn onto Charest Boulevard.

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The driver of a car that crashed into several others at the intersection of Highway 160 and Homestead Road tells police she was blinded by the sun.

"The pedestrians had just put their feet on the sidewalk when the SUV sped past," she told Radio-Canada, saying she, too, just missed being in the way of the careening vehicle.

"Five seconds before it was them. Five seconds later, [my car] would have turned onto Charest."

Both Royer and Maude-Grenier said the driver avoided cars stopped for the red light by veering into the opposite lanes.

"He was swerving back and forth and got back in his lane before crossing toward the building," said Maude-Grenier, who then saw "a cloud of dust" — the moment when the car crashed into the building at the corner of Charest and Langelier boulevards.

"I was convinced there were people who had been killed," she said.

Driver involved in Quebec City car crash missed group of schoolchildren 'by seconds'© Érik Chouinard/Radio-Canada Charest Boulevard remained closed off to traffic all afternoon Wednesday near the scene of the noon-hour crash.

3 people seriously injured

The 47-year-old driver is among 12 people who were brought to hospital following the crash. Quebec City police confirmed he was questioned at the scene on Wednesday.

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The driver lost control just 12 miles into the journey and the coach skidded off the road before At least two of the crash victims were airlifted to Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, which specialises in serious head injuries. She added: 'I am very relieved but I'm also very upset for all the people that are involved in that because it He added: 'They said a couple of schoolchildren needed heating up.

Police have ruled out impaired driving as a possible cause but are still investigating whether the driver may have been ill. There's no decision yet as to whether criminal charges will be laid.

In the meantime, the man's driver's licence remains valid.

Hospital officials have not yet provide updates on the condition of the others injured.

Driver involved in Quebec City car crash missed group of schoolchildren 'by seconds'© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting CorporationCrossing guard Denis Royer was back at work Thursday morning on Charest Boulevard at Victoria Street, where the day before he had been helping schoolchildren across the street just seconds before the speeding SUV careened through the intersection. (Alexandra Duval/CBC)
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