A deadly cocktail of alcohol, drugs and speed

A deadly cocktail of booze, drugs and speed


One of the two fathers who died in the lightning collision a few days before Christmas in Beauce, last year, was drunk, under the influence of cannabis, and driving at double the authorized speed , prompting the coroner to ask “why” no witnesses reported it to the police when there was still time.

On December 16, 2021, Charles Gagné spent the afternoon and early evening consuming alcohol in bars in Quebec City and Scott, reveals the investigation by coroner Donald Nicole.


Toxicological analyzes showed in him a blood alcohol level more than three times higher than the legal limit and the presence of cannabis metabolites.

Data from his Buick vehicle indicates that he was traveling at 183 km/h in a 90 km/h zone moments before the accident which occurred shortly after 9 p.m. on route 112, in Tring-Jonction.< /p>

Mr. Gagné, who was not wearing his seatbelt, only applied the brakes in the last second before crashing into the back of a first vehicle in front of him.

He then lost control of his vehicle, which overturned and swerved into the opposite lane, where he hit the Honda car of the second victim, Patrick Cyr, at a speed of 74 km/h, according to the coroner's report.

He failed to avoid the collision. He had no trace of alcohol in his body, was driving at 93 km/h and had buckled his seat belt.

Patrick Cyr, who was driving in the other lane, could not avoid the collision.

Six orphans

When paramedics arrived, there was nothing they could do to save the two men, ages 42 and 38, fathers who were all two on their way to their respective homes.

The tragedy left behind a total of six children, reported Le Journal.

During the police investigation, witnesses confirmed that Charles Gagné showed significant signs of drunkenness when he left a bar in Scott at 7:30 p.m., or that he was traveling at irregular speeds and dangerously overtaking before the drama.

He also appeared “disoriented” and “emotional” during a telephone conversation with a relative less than an hour before the events.

Charles Gagné was drunk, under the influence of cannabis and driving at twice the legal limit at the time of impact.

No call to the police

“Despite the presence of people who witnessed the drunkenness, erratic driving and reckless behavior of Mr. Gagné, none contacted the police services to inform them of the situation”, writes the coroner, who asks a little further “why no one contacted the police”.

The day after the tragedy, a lot of debris was still strewn on the ground.

It makes four recommendations, in particular that the Ministère de la Sécurité publique, the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec and Éduc'alcool coordinate their efforts and implement permanent measures to raise awareness among drivers and the public.

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