MONTREAL – An eyewitness described “pure chaos” outside a Montreal polling station where a vehicle hit nine people, including a young child, on Monday afternoon.

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“I saw two guys exactly like, blown away by a car with head injuries,” Chris Bertschman, who was in line to vote at the time of the collision, told CZAD 800.

The collision took place outside Sunshine Academy at 65 Sunshine St. at 5 p.m.


Police say they received several 911 calls and so far it appears the collision was accidental. The driver lost control of his vehicle after hitting five men, three women and a five-year-old child.

“My wife and I are lucky because (the car) was accelerating towards us and the people in front of us just fell down,” Bertschmann said. “We’re shaken.”

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Bertschmann says he looked at the driver and ran to avoid a collision.

According to Montreal police spokeswoman Carolyn Shevarfils, eight victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. However, the ninth victim, a 77-year-old woman, remains in “precarious condition”.

According to police, a 51-year-old woman, the driver of the vehicle, was also present there to cast her vote. The police took him into custody and interrogated him.

Susan Sepantgis lives nearby and rushed to the scene after hearing a flurry of police sirens in the area.

“It looked bad. It was devastating. They looked very bad, very injured,” she told Granthshala News. “There (were) people running, police running, ambulance guys running. It was very busy.”

A spokesman for Elections Canada said the polling station was closed for about an hour due to the collision and was later opened to voters.

–With files from Granthshala News’ Andrew Brennan.