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Family decimated in Beauport: 16 years in prison for a drunk driver

The exemplary sentence of 16 years in prison for driver Éric Légaré, who claimed the lives of four members of the same family on the Dufferin-Montmorency highway in Quebec last summer, is welcomed by the father of one of the victims with relief.

• Read also: Dufferin Highway Tragedy: overwhelmed and abandoned by the system

• Read also: Road drama in Beauport: 18 to 20 years in prison for Légaré drivers

Photo archives, QMI Agency

An accident that killed four members of the same family on the Dufferin-Montmorency Highway in Quebec City on September 2.

It is a crime that “has the highest subjective seriousness in Quebec in terms of deaths and injuries,” Judge Jean-Louis Lemay said to explain his harsh decision this Friday.

To emphasize the extent of this human drama, the judge has mentioned on several occasions the drama of a woman who has lost her husband James Fletcher (68), her daughter Shellie Fletcher-Lemieux (44) and her two grandchildren Emma over the last 47 years. Lemieux, 10, and her brother Jackson Fortin, 14.

Photo taken from Facebook

The driver, Eric Légaré

Éric Légaré was drunk at a speed of over 130 km / h when he caused a fatal accident.

“The only cause of this fatal collision is the criminal conduct of the accused,” the judge recalled in front of about fifty relatives.


Jackson’s father, Daniel Fortin, who had a 15-year sentence in mind before hearing the decision, said he was “relieved” by the sentence.

Photo by Didier Debusschère

Daniel Fortin, Jackson’s father, died in a fatal crash this Friday in a Quebec court.

“It’s still a bit of balm, a bit of bandage on my wounds, it’s a very strong message for the population,” Mr. Fortin responded eagerly.

He believes that the “pressure has just been removed” with the end of the procedures and that he will now be able to start mourning after nine stormy months.

But throughout the process, it’s hard for him to smile.

“There’s nothing beautiful about it, there’s nothing positive about what just happened,” he recalls.

Dominic Lemieux, Emma’s father and Shellie’s partner, was not available for sentencing. He had a two-step response. “It’s hard to be disappointed with the longest sentence ever given for drunk driving in Quebec,” he wrote.

But Mr. Lemieux would still like a life sentence for Légaré. He wondered what circumstances could justify a life sentence if the deaths of four people were not worth such a sentence.

  • Listen to the legal chronicle of former Judge Nicole Gibeault on QUB radio:


The fact remains that Éric Légaré received the most severe punishment in Quebec’s history for this type of crime.

In my opinion, Vincent Montmigny is his client “totally defeated, he expected.” »

In 2017, repeat driver Yves Martin was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the death of a married couple and their four-year-old boy.

Under other circumstances, Roger Walsh was sentenced to life in 2009, killing a woman from Valleyfield after 18 offenses for driving under the influence of alcohol.

However, the judge refrained from imposing such a punishment.

“So it’s not a way of retaliation that is more driven by emotion or anger,” he read.

A decimated family

Photos taken from Facebook and kindly

Satisfied with the pain

“We cannot hide our satisfaction with the decision that is, after all, the most important in the province of Quebec for crimes in similar matters.”

– DPCP plaintiff, Pierre-Alexandre Bernard.

“We are not, if it is clearly unreasonable, it is strict for the citizen. I would strongly doubt that there were any other procedures. “

– Eric Légaré’s lawyer, I Vincent Montmigny.

“Sometimes I manage to go home and pat his urn a little.” [à Jackson] to say: we won the battle ”

– Daniel Fortin, Jackson’s father, 14, died in an accident.

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