Head-on crash claims elderly couple near Wakefield, Quebec


by Mark Burgess on September 2, 2010

An elderly Gracefield, Quebec couple is dead after a head-on collision on Hwy 105 in Venosta, late in the afternoon on Aug. 30.

Gaston Lavoie, 83, and Jeannine Blondin-Galipeau, 70, were driving north at about 3:30 p.m. when their Toyota Camry, driven by Lavoie, swerved into the opposing lane and collided head-on with a Chevrolet Equinox SUV.

According to Sgt. Steve Lee Lalande of the Surete du Quebec, the SUV was carrying a family, including a pregnant mother and a young child, who are in stable condition at the hospital, where Lavoie and Blondin-Galipeau were pronounced dead.

“Unfortunately, we can’t come up with an exact reason why the Camry ended up in the opposing lane,” Lalonde said, adding that investigators assume Lavoie suffered some kind of accident or injury that prompted him to swerve. It’s thought neither excessive speed nor alcohol played a role in the accident.

Police closed off Hwy 105 between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., causing a half-kilometre traffic line-up while they cleared up the accident.