Bombardier at fault for extraordinary crash that killed a truck driver: report

A Bombardier tanker truck's “poor mechanical condition” is to blame for the fatal vehicle pileup on the Metropolitan Expressway that sparked a massive fire and took the life of truck driver Gilbert Prince in 2016, according to a Commission des transports du Quebec (CTQ) report.

Quebec sued Bombardier in August 2019 after a Quebec workplace health and safety board (CNESST) report found Bombardier’s fuel truck stopped abruptly on the highway because an emergency brake was triggered when a door on the truck was left open.

The resulting pileup involving at least three trucks sparked a fire that killed the 59-year-old Prince, who was pinned inside his 18-wheeler’s cab.

The CTQ and CNESST report note that the Bombardier truck’s emergency lights did not alert the driver.

According to the report, the Bombardier truck in question had similar problems in 2014, 2015, and 2016, six months before the fatal accident.

The CTQ report says Bombardier jeopardized road users’ safety and found that the company has delayed putting safety measures in place to avoid another accident.

The commission lowered Bombardier’s safety rating from satisfactory to conditional, and ordered the company to:

  • Set up a safety management system;
  • Improve maintenance practice;
  • Set up monitoring and sanctioning policies;
  • Provide training evidence;
  • and send incident reports to the SAAQ.

Bombardier has pulled the truck in question off the road, and must transmit all documentation in the order to the Service de l’inspection et des permis de la Commission des transports du Quebec by the end of November.

Bombardier has yet to respond to a CTV request for comment on the report. 

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