Quebec man gets four years after sending 30 texts before fatal crash

Judge gives 4-year sentence to Quebec driver who was texting before fatal crash

A Quebec man convicted of killing another driver and injuring two teenagers while texting at the wheel has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Martin Carrieres, 39, had exchanged more than 30 text messages while driving on a poorly lit road in March 2012.

Noting that campaigns against texting while driving are not sinking in, Quebec court judge Maria Albanese said she wanted her sentence “to send a clear message to the public.”

The accused was found guilty in April 2018 of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm. He was sentenced on Jan. 14.

Carrieres was driving at night in Quebec’s Laurentians region when his vehicle crossed into the opposing lane and collided with an oncoming vehicle. The other vehicle was driven by a man returning from a hockey practice with his 13-year-old son and his son’s friend.

The other driver died at the scene, and after the crash, a first responder took Carrieres’ cell phone and gave it to police.

READ MORE: B.C. defends distracted driving crackdown

An analysis of the cellular data showed that Carrieres exchanged 34 text messages while driving between 9:18 p.m. and 9:58 p.m., which the judge said explains the accident.

“The analysis of the messages shows that the accused reads them as soon as they are received, because he responds quickly,” Albanese said. “In addition, the exchange he has with his spouse is emotional and acrimonious.”

Carrieres initially told his spouse he was going to his mother’s house that night, but she learned that he was in fact meeting a female friend. That put her “in a bad mood” and triggered a string of text messages between Carrieres and the two women, the judge said.

She emphasized that appropriate sentencing is a delicate exercise. In this case, she concluded that the accused repeatedly broke the law by texting at the wheel. He was entirely responsible for the accident, she said, calling his actions “flagrant negligence.”

READ MORE: ‘Dangerous choice’ sticks Learner driver with 4 tickets

She did note that Carrieres had no previous criminal record, is well-liked and expressed remorse that she found to be sincere.

“The court is well aware that no matter what sentence is imposed, it will never reflect the pain of the victims,” Albanese said. “The compensation, if there is any, is minimal for them.”

Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read