On Tuesday June 18, a two-car collision in the Montreal suburb of Mercier sent three people to the hospital in critical condition, one of whom was a 10-year-old passenger. Doctors have since put the child, whose identity has not been disclosed, in a medically-induced coma to better manage their condition, according to TVA Nouvelles.
Mercier Police now suspect that the 18-year-old driver was texting when they crashed into into a car approaching from the other direction, says the CBC. The young driver sustained minor injuries.
The accident occurred on boulevard Saint-Jean Baptiste (route 138), the central thoroughfare in the South Shore municipality.
The MTL Blog video team went to the street to speak with Montrealers about the distracted driving epidemic in the province.
Authorities are reportedly weighing criminal charges if there is proof that the 18-year-old was on their phone. In the case of the 10-year-old's death, the CBC continues, Sûreté du Québec will be responsible for any investigation.
According to the Société d'assurance automobile de Québec (SAAQ), fines for texting and driving in the province range between $300 and $600. Punishments can be much more severe in the case of an accident.
In March of this year, a judge in Quebec issued a 4-year sentence for a texting driver who caused an accident that killed a father and injured two other people, according to a Global News report.
Neither the Mercier police nor the Sûreté du Québec have issued a statement on their websites or social media pages.
The 10-year-old remains in critical condition and is bleeding internally, CTV shares.
A study in May, meanwhile, found that a majority of parents regularly text while driving.
Stay tuned for updates on potential criminal proceedings and the condition of the hospitalized 10-year-old.