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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

UPDATE: body of missing man located

Jerret Snow was last seen May 19

Schools preparing for optional part-time classes for students

Parents will have the choice whether or not to return their children to class

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Most Read