Kitigan Zibi rocked by fatal incidents
SQ investigating connection between deaths
A mother was killed in Kitigan Zibi and her son died shortly after following a head-on crash in Kazabazua, and police are investigating a connection between the incidents.
According to Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Marc Tessier, the investigation into the July 11 death of 44-year-old Shannon Ferguson in Kitigan Zibi and her teenage son early on July 12 is ongoing.
On July 11, around 11:30 p.m., Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Police Department officers responded to a report of vehicle vandalism on Wanaki Mikan — mikan means “road” in Algonquin. At the scene, they found a woman unconscious on the ground.
“The body had traces of violence, so they called for assistance,” Tessier said, without explaining the nature or location of the injuries on her body.
Ferguson was pronounced dead that night.
While investigating her death, Tessier said police received a report of a crash in Kazabazua involving a small SUV registered to her name.
Kazabazua Fire Department Chief Shawn Chamberlain said he received a call about the head-on collision near a sharp curve on Hwy 105 south of Ch. de Lac-Sainte-Marie around 11:47 p.m. on July 11. Firefighters arrived on scene to find pieces of Ferguson’s SUV and the tow truck it hit scattered across the road, and the driver of the southbound SUV – Ferguson’s teenage son – lying metres away in the roadside ditch.
He was found to be responsive, but barely, according to an eyewitness, and put into an ambulance bound for Hull Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. On the way down, police stopped and boarded the ambulance to question the driver, but he could only blink at that point, the witness stated.
Tessier declined to comment when asked about officers stopping a hospital-bound ambulance.
“I don’t have that information,” he said.
Tessier said that police are determining if the driver is a suspect in his mother’s murder. He also said they are investigating speeding and distraction as possible causes of the crash, but also the possibility that the crash was intentional.
“Every scenario is being investigated,” Tessier said.
The tow truck driver was unharmed in the crash, according to both Tessier and Chamberlain.
Autopsies will be performed to determine Ferguson and her son’s causes of death, Tessier said.
The news of the murder and fatal crash shook the community of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation.
“As we mourn this morning, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families impacted by this. Please respect the wishes of the family and if you need help, please reach out to our mental health team at Kitigan Zibi Health and Social Services,” Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Band Council Chief Dylan Whiteduck posted on Facebook on July 12.
Kitigan Zibi Health and Social Services posted resources on Facebook for people in need of support and that counselors were available at the youth centre and cultural centre sacred fire on the evening of July 12.
Community members can find more health and social services information at kzadmin.com/KZHSS.aspx.