A look at notable vehicle-ramming cases in Canada

A look at notable vehicle-ramming cases in Canada
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Police officers investigate the scene in Amqui, Que., Tuesday, March 14, 2023. The driver of a pickup truck that killed two people and injured nine others in the eastern Quebec town of Amqui acted deliberately and with premeditation, running down victims who ranged in age from a baby to a 77-year-old, police said Tuesday.

Two people are dead and nine others are injured after a pickup truck ran into multiple pedestrians in the eastern Quebec community of Amqui on Monday, with police alleging the driver acted deliberately and with premeditation.

Here’s a look at some other vehicle-ramming cases in Canada in recent years:

Laval daycare bus crash

In early February, two young children were killed after a bus crashed into their daycare in Laval, Que. Six other children from Garderie Éducative Ste-Rose were taken to hospital with injuries. Witnesses said they saw a city bus barrelling down the driveway of the daycare before it smashed into the front of the building. Jacob Gauthier, 4, and Maeva David, 4, were identified as the two young children who died. Pierre Ny St-Amand, a 51-year-old driver with the Laval transit corporation, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and seven other offences, including attempted murder and aggravated assault.

London truck-ramming

Five members of a Muslim family were out for a walk during a warm summer evening when they were hit by a pickup truck in June 2021. Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed. The couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously hurt. Prosecutors allege Nathaniel Veltman, who was 20 at the time of his arrest, deliberately hit the family with his truck. He faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in what prosecutors allege was an act of terrorism. Veltman’s trial is set to begin in September.

Toronto van attack

Eight women and two men died after a man deliberately drove a rental van down a busy sidewalk along a stretch of Toronto’s Yonge Street in April 2018. Another woman died more than three years later from injuries suffered that day. A judge found Alek Minassian guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in 2021. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. Last summer, Minassian filed a notice of appeal with Ontario’s top court.

Edmonton van attack

A man struck an Edmonton police officer with a car before stabbing him multiple times outside a football game in September 2017. He then ran down and injured four pedestrians with a U-Haul van. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif was convicted on charges that included five counts of attempted murder, criminal flight causing bodily harm and dangerous driving. He was sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison.

St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., ramming attack

Martin Couture-Rouleau, a man with known jihadist sympathies, killed Canadian Forces warrant officer Patrice Vincent and hurt another soldier after he drove into them in a shopping mall parking lot in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., in October 2014. After the hit and run, Couture-Rouleau’s car rolled over and landed in a ditch during a police chase. When he got out of his car, he was shot dead by police. Two years later, a coroner’s report found he asked a 911 operator after the killing to “warn Canada, and the governor,” and others to leave the coalition fighting against the Islamic State group.


Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2023.

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