The department of Transport is blamed by a coroner after the death of a young father who has hit a pothole giant seven meters long on the highway 30, in the Montérégie region.
According to the coroner Paul G. Dionne, Ihor Horbanov had no chance when his vehicle got stuck in the pothole on march 11, 2019. The hole was so big that it took nearly ten tons of asphalt for patching the result of the accident.
However, the department knew since weeks that significant holes were dug on the autotoroute 30 is at the height of Verchères. Thus, a month earlier, we had counted seven flat tires and tows in a single day at the same place. Three days before the fatal accident, employees of the ministry had spilled three tonnes of asphalt in the pothole located under the viaduct to the rank of the Burned that spans the highway.
Despite the gravity of the situation, the coroner concluded that the department had not made any follow-up between the time of the work and the accident.
“We made a major repair, the 8 march, and there was no follow-up until the time of the fatal accident of 11 march ! At this time, there is major damage to the roadway and will require up to 9,73 tons of filling ! “exclaimed the coroner, marking her surprise exclamation points in his report. During the collision, Ihor Horbanov was travelling in the direction of Brossard with his wife and two children. He moved into the left lane to avoid a truck signaling for the ministry, which was already on site for another car a victim of the same pothole.
The driver had no chance when his door was pressed to the back of a truck of the ministry of Transport.
Mr. Horbanov struck to turn the pothole. Misfortune wanted that in losing control, the driver’s side door is pushed further into the vehicle of Transport Quebec. The driver suffered a severe head trauma and his death was confirmed less than two hours later at the Hôpital Charles-Le Moyne.
The other members of the family are drawn with minor injuries.
Potholes are better monitored
This photo from the coroner’s report shows that the nid-de-poule (to the left) was filled with water at the time of the accident.
The coroner Dionne recommends a new approach to monitoring of the potholes, in particular by using the geolocation. Already, the department has begun to change its ways of doing business. The follow-up of the potholes will be computerised and will be monitored more carefully for potholes deemed extraordinary.
This system will be complementary to the reports made by motorists with the 511.
Of patching repairs have been made on a length of 100 meters on the site of the accident last summer. A refurbishment project of a dozen miles is in the study between Reluctantly and Verchères.
Extracts from the report of the coroner Paul G. Dionne
► Field observations and statements of witnesses show that these two accidents are secondary to a loss of control of vehicle engine in a series of potholes and an inadequate maintenance of the floor.
► The pothole extends on nearly 7 meters in length. The level of the water in the pothole reached 9 cm in places.
► This segment is problematic. Numerous punctures had been noted by the police in the past weeks. The MTQ was then stepped in to repair the floor.
► There is no event reported to the MTQ, march 8, until the time of the accident. After the accident, the MTQ has conducted an emergency repair of the roadway with 9,73 tons of asphalt.
A disaster announced
- 5 February : A total of seven flat tires and tows are reported on highway 30 west in the area of the rank of the Burned, on the verge of Reluctantly and Verchères
- From 5 February to 8 march : The ministry of Transport performs a number of operations of clogging in the area.
- 8 march : More than three tons of asphalt are used to fill the pothole under the viaduct.
- 11 march : To 11: 45 a.m., the first vehicle lost control, hitting the pothole. A vehicle of the ministry of Transport is dispatched to the scene to protect the scene of the accident. At 13 h, the vehicle driven by Ihor Horbanov hits the same pothole and skids. It ends its journey in the vehicle of the ministry of Transport. It is transported to the Hôpital Charles-Le Moyne, where his death is recorded at 15 h 23.
- 12 march : An autopsy virtual allows to determine that the driver has suffered a multiple trauma head injury. He also has broken ribs, and pelvis. The department of Transportation seal the pothole with 9.7 tonnes of asphalt.
The small family of the threatened eviction
Hanna Horbanova still hope to be able to live in Quebec with her two sons, prince hlib and Kyryl, despite the death of her husband. The family is of Ukrainian origin.
The death of Ihor Horbanov has had dramatic consequences on his wife and children, who could now be deported from Canada.
The small family of Ukrainian origin, had settled in Quebec in 2018 after the man has obtained his visa worker. He had got a job as a machine operator in a factory in Sorel-Tracy, where it was highly appreciated.
However, by losing her life, her worker visas became null and void. His wife, who had also the right to work under this work visa, has had to stop working last January.
Anna Horbanova has also lost access to French language courses, and its coverage of public health insurance. She has made a new visa application to return to work, but waiting for a response, she is threatened with having to leave the country within three months.
“If the hole (on the highway) had been repaired, none of that would have happened,” said the lady, who dreamed of rebuilding his life in Canada.
His two sons, prince hlib and Kyryl, are well-integrated in Quebec and she does not return to his country of origin, where significant tensions still exist between pro-Russians and pro-Ukrainians.
The woman is now trying by all means to be accepted as an immigrant, including for humanitarian reasons. With the help of a friend, she wrote several letters to the authorities and had a meeting with her local member of parliament.
She also had a big push since the death of her husband. Until January, she had a job in a factory, that she had to leave after the expiry of the visa of the worker of her husband. She now lives only benefits the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec.
Not to mention that she has had to overcome the shock of the accident. For weeks, she has not stopped thinking about her husband and she has lost a lot of weight. If it gets better today, some of the situations remind him of his bad memories, especially when she is on the scene of the accident.
“I’m now teaching a course of conduct, but every time I hear an ambulance, I freeze, I have flash backs of the accident “, she says.
The reading of the report of the coroner has disappeared in bad memories. She could see how her husband suffered before the making of the soul.
However, apart from the police officer who collected her testimony, she has had no contact with people from the ministry of Transport, and even less excuse for the poor maintenance of the road that caused the accident.
“Even if they apologize, it will not bring back my partner,” she concludes.