An eyewitness described “pure chaos” outside a Montreal polling station where a vehicle struck nine people Monday afternoon, including a young child.
“I saw two people just absolutely, like, blown over by a car with with head injuries,” Chris Bertschmann, who was in line to vote at the time of collision, told CJAD 800.
The collision happened outside the Sunshine Academy at 65 Sunshine St. at 5 p.m.
Police say they received several 911 calls and that so far it appears the collision was accidental. The driver lost control of her vehicle as it struck five men, three women and a five-year-old boy.
“My wife and I are lucky because (the car was) accelerating towards us and the people in front of us just got mowed down,” Bertschmann said. “We’re shaken up.”
Bertschmann says he saw the driver head towards him and ran away to avoid being hit.
Eight victims suffered non life-threatening injuries, according to Montreal police spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils. However, the ninth victim, a 77-year-old woman, remains in “uncertain condition.”
The driver of the vehicle, a 51-year-old woman, was also there to vote, according to police. She was detained and questioned by police.
Susan Sepentgis lives nearby and went to the scene after hearing a flurry of police sirens in the area.
“It looked bad. It was devastating. They looked pretty bad, pretty injured,” she told CTV News. “There (were) people running, the cops were running, the ambulance guys were running. It was pretty hectic.”
An Elections Canada spokesperson said the polling station was closed for approximately one hour due to the collision and was later reopened to voters.