Montreal

Quebec father intentionally crashed minivan, killing 2 children, himself: coroner

The father was driving westbound at 135 km/h with his children in the backseat of his minivan when he drove into a truck in the opposite lane.

Crash also injured mother, 2 other children

the aftermath of a collision with first responders on the scene
The truck driver tried to avoid the collision but didn't have enough time to brake, according to the coroner's report. (Steve Jolicoeur/Radio-Canada)

A collision between a minivan and a truck that killed two children, injured their two siblings and their mother, was a deliberate act by the father, according to a coroner's report.

The collision happened on March 15 in a rural area in Saint-Frédéric, a town in the Beauce region, along Route 112.

The father was driving the minivan westbound at around 4 p.m, travelling at 130 km/h.

Seconds before the collision, he accelerated into the opposite lane, reaching a speed of 135 km/h, according to the report.

Images from the truck travelling east show that the minivan had suddenly changed lanes and rammed into the truck head-on.

The truck driver tried to avoid the collision but didn't have enough time to brake, the report reads.

The father and two of his children — a four-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy — died from multiple traumas sustained from the crash. The mother and two other children were taken to hospital but survived.

The family was from Adstock, another town in the Beauce region.

Everyone in the vehicle was wearing seatbelts at the time. Upon impact, the father was ejected from the vehicle. Both the minivan and truck landed in separate ditches in opposite directions.

Eleven people were involved in the crash, including five people in the truck.

Father showed no signs of distress: provincial police

Coroner Donald Nicole concluded that the crash was intentional due to the father's "latent psychological distress," the report reads.

A urine analysis showed that he had taken venlafaxine metabolites, which are used to treat depression.

Toxicological analyses and blood tests were also carried out but detected no trace of alcohol, drugs or medication in his system. No autopsy was ordered.

Before the incident, the father didn't express any suicidal thoughts or suggest that he was in psychological distress, an investigation by provincial police found.

At the time of the collision, traffic density was low, visibility was good and the roadway was dry, the report reads.

With files from Radio-Canada