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Stopping for ducks leads to motorcycle crash

Victor Lewin - Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Nova Scotia Royal Canadian Mounted Police are seeking help from the public in finding the driver of a car that stopped near Wolfville on Highway 101 so a mother duck and her ducklings could cross the highway.

Due to the driver's sudden stop, a motorcyclist suffered serious injuries after running into the rear of the car behind the driver who stopped for the duck family. The motorcyclist, described as "in his 60s," is from Upper Rawdon. He was flown to hospital in a helicopter from the accident scene. According to police sources, the car that initially stopped to allow the ducks to cross left the scene after the accident.

The case shares aspects with a Quebec double fatality in 2010. A teenager and her dad were killed when they crashed their motorcycle into the rear of a car that stopped to allow the driver to assist another duck family in getting across the road. A jury found the driver guilty of dangerous driving and criminal negligence. She was given 90 days in jail as a sentence.

Just last May, police in Ontario issued a warning to the public not to intercede and assist small animals on the roads of the province. They had received multiple calls about an individual attempting to move a duck family off of Ottawa's Highway 417.

Most driving guides advise motorists to remain calm if they encounter larger wildlife like deer or moose that are on the road. They should stay in their vehicles to avoid being struck by other motorists. The advice given when encountering smaller animals is to leave them be. Drivers are encouraged to call the police if they believe that an animal's presence constitutes a road hazard.

"It depends on the size of the animals and the size of the vehicles behind you but human life has to come first," the Young Drivers of Canada GTA director remarked to the Globe and Mail last year. "If you're prepared to make the right choice, the answer might be that it's over for Rover."

Those who have been injured by a driver who stopped on the road may wish to speak with a lawyer about legal options.

Source: Vancouver Sun, "Nova Scotia man wanted by RCMP after stopping for ducks on highway and causing crash," July 02, 2015

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