Woman faces life in prison for stopping on highway to rescue ducklings

This article is more than 12 months old

A 25-year-old woman stopped her car on a highway in Quebec, Canada, to rescue ducklings. 

A motorcylist and his teenage daughter crashed into her car, killing them both. 

For that, Emma Czornobaj was last Friday convicted for criminal negligence causing death. 

The charge carries a maximum life sentence, and two counts of dangerous driving causing death, which comes with a maximum of 14 years in jail. The jury's decision on the accident which happened in 2010 was unanimous.

Czornobaj said that she had pulled over to the side after failing to see the ducklings’ mother. She had hoped to take them home to keep them safe.

The wife of the 50-year-old motorcyclist and mother to the 16-year-old who was riding pillion, said: “I don’t wish misfortune on anyone.”

Pauline Volikakis, who was riding her own motorcycle behind her husband and daughter, managed to escape getting injured but saw the entire accident unfold in front of her.

She said in court on Friday that she is ready to move on from this tragic ordeal. "It’s time that we go on. This will not bring back my loved ones.”​

Pauline Volikakis' (left) husband Andre Roy, 50, and daughter Jessie, 16, both died in a Montreal highway crash in 2010. Photo: Facebook/Pauline Volikakis

Czornobaj’s lawyer, Marc Labelle, was shocked by the jury’s verdict and said they may appeal.

“This was not a race. This was not a person who took a chance and drove drunk. This is not about someone who was speeding and took a risky maneuver,” he said.

 Prosecutor Annie-Claude Chasse on the other hand hopes this case sends out a strong message to everyone.

“What we hope is that a clear message is sent to society that we do not stop on the highway for animals,” she said. “It’s not worth it.”

- Daily Mail, Buzzfeed