Quebec man gets four years after sending 30 texts before fatal crash

Judge gives 4-year sentence to Quebec driver who was texting before fatal crash

A Quebec man convicted of killing another driver and injuring two teenagers while texting at the wheel has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Martin Carrieres, 39, had exchanged more than 30 text messages while driving on a poorly lit road in March 2012.

Noting that campaigns against texting while driving are not sinking in, Quebec court judge Maria Albanese said she wanted her sentence “to send a clear message to the public.”

The accused was found guilty in April 2018 of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm. He was sentenced on Jan. 14.

Carrieres was driving at night in Quebec’s Laurentians region when his vehicle crossed into the opposing lane and collided with an oncoming vehicle. The other vehicle was driven by a man returning from a hockey practice with his 13-year-old son and his son’s friend.

The other driver died at the scene, and after the crash, a first responder took Carrieres’ cell phone and gave it to police.

READ MORE: B.C. defends distracted driving crackdown

An analysis of the cellular data showed that Carrieres exchanged 34 text messages while driving between 9:18 p.m. and 9:58 p.m., which the judge said explains the accident.

“The analysis of the messages shows that the accused reads them as soon as they are received, because he responds quickly,” Albanese said. “In addition, the exchange he has with his spouse is emotional and acrimonious.”

Carrieres initially told his spouse he was going to his mother’s house that night, but she learned that he was in fact meeting a female friend. That put her “in a bad mood” and triggered a string of text messages between Carrieres and the two women, the judge said.

She emphasized that appropriate sentencing is a delicate exercise. In this case, she concluded that the accused repeatedly broke the law by texting at the wheel. He was entirely responsible for the accident, she said, calling his actions “flagrant negligence.”

READ MORE: ‘Dangerous choice’ sticks Learner driver with 4 tickets

She did note that Carrieres had no previous criminal record, is well-liked and expressed remorse that she found to be sincere.

“The court is well aware that no matter what sentence is imposed, it will never reflect the pain of the victims,” Albanese said. “The compensation, if there is any, is minimal for them.”

Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

Chilliwack council supporting protests against racism

City calls for participants to be cautious of distancing and to wear masks due to pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found the body while on foot patrol: Surrey RCMP

Most Read