A woman who parked her car on a highway to rescue ducklings has
been found guilty of causing the deaths of a motorcyclist and
his daughter who slammed into her vehicle.
Emma Czornobaj was convicted by a jury on Friday on two counts
of criminal negligence causing death, a charge that carries a
maximum life sentence, and two counts of dangerous driving
causing death, which comes with a maximum of 14 years in jail.
The 25-year-old was charged in the deaths of Andre Roy, 50, and
his daughter Jessie, 16.
She wiped away tears when the verdict was delivered to a packed
courtroom in Montreal.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Eliane Perreault said the 12-
member jury voted unanimously.
Czornobaj was released until her pre-sentence hearing on August
Roy's motorcycle slammed into Czornobaj's Honda Civic after the
woman stopped in the left lane of Highway 30 in Candiac, Quebec
on June 27, 2010. Jessie was sitting on the back of her dad's
Pauline Volikakis was riding her own motorbike behind her
husband and daughter, and watched in horror as they were thrown
into the air.
Volikakis briefly fought back tears when she left the courtroom.
'I don't wish misfortune on anyone,' the widow said. 'It's time
that we go on. This will not bring (back) my loved ones.'
She said she hoped publicity of the case will reinforce a basic
message to drivers.
'Future and present drivers should know that we don�t stop on
highways, and it�s very dangerous. Even if it�s a small animal
that we like or that we want to preserve, we should not stop on
the highways,' she said. 'It�s not a place to stop.'
Czornobaj, a self-professed animal lover, told the court that
she did not see the ducklings' mother anywhere and planned to
capture them and take them home.
She had three years driving experience at the time of the
National Post reported Czornobaj, who doesn't have a criminal
record, was willing to plead guilty as recently as April but
refused to do jail time.
Her lawyer Marc Labelle said his client was stunned by the
jury's decision. He said he may appeal.
'So now we are at the sentencing stage in this case. The
question we have to ask is that considering the nature of the
facts, it is rare that we have criminal negligence where there
are no bad elements,' Labelle said.
'This was not a race. This was not a person who took a chance
and drove drunk. This is not about someone who was speeding and
took a risky maneuver.'
During the trial, witness Martine Tessier testified that she
noticed parked car didn't have its hazards on and that the
driver's door was open.
She also said she saw Czornobaj motioning to some ducks on the
side of the road.
'I shouted to my [three] children: �What is she doing there?
She�s going to get killed',' Tessier said, according to National
'I saw a body go over the car. It looked like a rag doll. I
shouted to my daughter to call 911.'
Prosecutor Annie-Claude Chasse had a message for motorists.
'What we hope is that a clear message is sent to society that we
do not stop on the highway for animals. It's not worth it,' she
Czornobaj left the courthouse without commenting.
According to National Post, she is a financial analyst who
graduated from Concordia�s John Molson School of Business where
she made the dean�s list.
This woman is a complete idiot and should be beaten to death
with motorcycle chains.