Ice falls from Montreal building, smashes through car's sunroof
A Quebec couple got the scare of a lifetime when a piece of ice came crashing through their sunroof as they were driving in downtown Montreal, sending one of them to hospital.
“It was absolutely terrifying,” Kristine Bernard told CTV Montreal. “It happened so quickly. We were totally not expecting it of course.”
On Feb. 22, Bernard and Myles Carter were driving to work when the 1.5 kilogram hunk of ice smashed through their sunroof, hitting Bernard in the head. Bloodied, Bernard was taken to hospital to make sure she didn’t have a concussion.
“(It was) so loud, so violent and glass just went absolutely everywhere,” Bernard recalled a week later. “I was in shock. I didn't really understand what happened immediately. It took a little while to kind of piece together what had actually happened.”
According to Montreal police, a contractor was clearing ice off a nearby building construction site at the time of the incident. And while that contractor had nets around the building to prevent hunks of ice from falling 15 stories to the streets below, they believe that the one that hit Bernard bounced off those nets and into the car.
“It’s upended our lives a little bit,” Carter, who was uninjured, told CTV Montreal. “We’re spending the rest of the time figuring out how we're going to get back and forth to work, dealing with insurance, talking to see who's responsible for this.”
The couple has hired lawyer Jamie Benizri to help them get recompense.
No one has yet taken responsibility for the falling ice, Benizri told CTV Montreal. He says his calls to the contractor have so far gone unanswered and the couple’s car insurance company has yet to settle their claim because it also can’t determine who is responsible.
“My jaw dropped,” Benizri said of hearing about the incident. “The biggest issue is that they were permitted to drive in this corridor as people from the top were sweeping the rocks and the debris and whatever they were sweeping.”
Once he completes his investigation, Benizri says he will consider discussing the incident with the city and SAAQ: Quebec’s public auto insurance Crown corporation.
“We need to look at what the jurisdiction is and if compensation is to be had,” Benizri said. “Is she a victim of a road accident? Is she an innocent bystander that has a civil private recourse against a corporation or against a person?”
The couple says that their main goal, however, is to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again.
“We feel that something happened that should not have happened,” Bernard said.