A fourth person has died in the tragic tractor accident in Quebec

A fourth person has died following the horrific tractor accident on Wednesday in Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, in Montérégie Quebec.

“Unfortunately, Friday evening, we were informed of the death of one of the two adults, who was in critical condition in the hospital,” said Quebec provincial police (SQ) Sgt. Claude Denis.

The condition of the other seriously injured adult was not immediately available.

Three children aged five and under were also killed in the tragedy, which also injured five others.

According to preliminary information, the people were riding in the shovel of a tractor to go to a party the evening of July 1.

The tractor driver, a 38-year-old man, was charged at the Granby courthouse on Thursday with criminal negligence causing the deaths of three young children and criminal negligence causing bodily harm to six others. These charges will now likely be changed with the confirmed death of a fourth person.

The prosecutor in the file, Véronique Gauthier, explained Thursday that the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) had decided not to lay separate charges for each of the victims.

“It is a choice of the prosecution to have done it this way, but both (options) would have been possible,” she said.

The accused, whose identity cannot be disclosed due to a publication ban, was driving the tractor with a shovel at the front and where 10 people were seated.

For a still unknown reason, the 10 people were thrown from the shovel during the ride which turned to a nightmare. Three children under the age of five died, three other children were seriously injured, as were four adults, one of whom died Friday.

NO CHARGES RELATED TO ALCOHOL

Although preliminary information indicated a possible presence of alcohol in connection with the tragedy, no charges were brought against the accused in this regard, due to the available evidence.

The accused was released on $5,000 bail and several conditions, including a communication ban with certain people involved in the tragedy. He is also prohibited from driving a motor vehicle, except in the event of an emergency or work. He also faces a ban on operating agricultural machinery unless he does it alone.

The rest of the procedures have been set for September 28.

Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge is a small rural locality located about twenty kilometres south-east of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2020.

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