Canadian driver jailed for deaths caused by stopping for ducks

Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:03pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - A Canadian woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Thursday for causing two deaths in 2010 when she stopped her car on a Quebec highway to help a group of ducklings crossing the road.

Emma Czornobaj had been convicted in June of two counts each of criminal negligence and dangerous driving causing death.

According to media reports on Thursday, Czornobaj stopped her car abruptly in the passing lane of a highway south of Montreal when she saw the ducklings. The motorcycle behind Czornobaj's car then crashed into her vehicle, killing the 50-year-old man driving the motorcycle and his 16-year-old daughter.

"I just wanted to pick all these ducklings up and put them in my car," Czornobaj had testified during her trial. "I know it was a mistake."

The jail time will be served on the weekends. Czornobaj was also sentenced to 240 hours of community service, probation and banned from driving for 10 years.

Prosecutors had sought a nine-month jail sentence.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)