It’s a devastating example of how one decision can change lives in an instant.
A spur of the moment decision to help some ducks across the road.
A decision which led to the deaths of a father and daughter – and a potential prison sentence of up to 15 years for a 25-year old Canadian woman.
It was June 2010 and 25-year-old Emma Czornobaj stopped her car on the left lane of a provincial highway in Candiac, south of Montreal.
A flock of eight ducklings were trying to cross the road, and she wanted to keep them safe.
In a tragic case of bad judgement, Emma left her car without turning on her hazard lights – leaving her car door open.
She was trying to round the ducks up, keep them from harm when a 50-year-old man on a motorbike slammed into her car at 105 km an hour. Andre Roy had his 16-year-old daughter Jessie on the back.
Witnesses told the court, “I saw a body go over the car like a rag doll.” They both died on impact.
Following behind in her car was Jessie’s mother.
On Friday – almost four years to the day the accident occurred – Emma Czornobaj was convicted on two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
The dead teenager’s mother told local media that she felt no ill will. “My feelings are that it is time that we go on. This will not bring back my loved ones,” Pauline Volikakis said.
In court Emma broke down as she heard the verdict. Her lawyer said the defence will be pushing for no jail time because of the lack of criminal intent. She will be sentenced on August 8th.
Emma Czornobaj could face up to 15-years in prison.