Driver involved in deadly collision with cyclist on Mount Royal will not be charged
The tourist who was driving an SUV that fatally struck an 18-year-old cyclist on Mount Royal last year will not be charged.
The Crown prosecutor’s office announced its decision on Wednesday morning regarding the death of Clement Ouimet.
Police investigated the crash and passed on their findings to the DPCP on Nov. 22, but did not say whether or not they were recommending charges.
“We could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Jean-Pascal Boucher, spokesperson for the director of criminal and penal prosecutions.
“The driver’s actions were not dangerous in themselves,” he said.
The Crown said in a statement that recklessness, simple negligence, or an error of judgment are insufficient for an individual to be held be criminally responsible.
The Crown also said that they had met Ouimet’s family and explained their decision, before making it public.
Magali Bebronne of Velo Quebec is calling Wednesday’s decision extremely disappointing.
“What it basically says is that it’s considered reasonable and normal for a driver to break traffic rules and we need to remind ourselves as drivers that driving is a privilege it comes with responsibilities not to break highway rules,” said Bebronne.
Ouimet died on Oct. 4, 2017 as he was bicycling down Mount Royal.
A 59-year-old California man driving a Toyota Highlander on Camiellien Houde Way made an illegal U-turn near the lookout, driving into Ouimet’s path.
Ouimet collided with the rear left panel of the vehicle and died later that day in hospital.
Ouimet’s death prompted the city of Montreal to add more signs banning U-turns to the route, as well as to extend a concrete median.
Following its election the Plante administration decided it would ban through traffic along Camillien Houde Way, with several municipal politicians saying they hoped it would reduce the amount of cars travelling on that road and thus make it safer for cyclists.
“We need to secure Mont Royal to make sure this situation won’t happen again,” said Plante in a statement. “This is why we are doing a pilot-project on Camilien-Houde and why this project is so close to my heart.”
Bebronne agrees with the mayor’s actions.
“We know that traffic crashes are very proportional to the speed and the number of vehicles passing on a given road so if you cut 80 per cent of the traffic like we think it will do, you will decrease the chance that a crash actually occurs,” she said.