Sen. Romeo Dallaire falls asleep, crashes car on Parliament Hill
Published Tuesday, December 3, 2013 3:01PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 4, 2013 11:26AM EST
Sen. Romeo Dallaire has apologized for crashing his car into a lamp post on Parliament Hill this morning after falling asleep at the wheel.
According to reports, Dallaire’s black BMW jumped a curb outside Parliament Hill’s East Block around 10 a.m. Tuesday, knocking over a stop sign before colliding with the lamp post.
Dallaire, 67, wasn’t injured in the accident, but his car sustained some damage and two of its airbags deployed.
Speaking in the Red Chamber, Dallaire apologized to his fellow senators Tuesday afternoon, saying he didn’t sleep much last night.
He said he’s been troubled by the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide, as well as recent suicides by three Canadian Forces members.
“On my way to work this morning, I fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a barrier near the East Block with my car,” he said.
“I am very thankful that nobody was injured, or worse, by me not being more attentive to the level of fatigue that I’ve been experiencing.”
Dallaire, 67, is a retired lieutenant-general who served as commander of the ill-fated UN peacekeeping mission to Rwanda prior to and during the 1994 genocide.
He has spoken openly about his struggling with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder upon returning from Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed over a 100-day period.
Dallaire said “reviewing” that period of his life has made it difficult for him to sleep, even though he takes medication to address the issue.
“I simply ran out of steam and fell asleep,” he said. “I hope it brings no dishonour to you or this institution by me not being more attentive to my physical condition …”
Appointed to the Senate in March 2005, Dallaire continues to advocate for genocide prevention and for the eradication of child soldiers.