51-year-old man deliberately hits a daycare center with his bus in Quebec: 2 children killed and 6 others injured
Steph Deschamps / February 9, 2023
A man deliberately crashed his bus into a daycare center near Montreal on Wednesday, killing two four-year-olds and injuring six others, who were hospitalized.
The 51-year-old driver, arrested shortly after the events for "homicide and dangerous driving", appeared briefly at the end of the day by videoconference from his hospital bed.
But "his case has been postponed to February 17", explained to the press the prosecutor Karine Dalphond.
According to the court document, the man, Pierre Ny St-Armand, faces nine charges including "premeditated murder" and "attempted murder". He will remain in custody until the hearing in a psychiatric hospital.
During his short appearance, the suspect nodded to answer the judge's questions but refused to speak, an AFP reporter in the courtroom noted.
He appeared very agitated on the videoconference screen, smiling broadly and trying to sit up repeatedly in his bed on which he was held by handcuffs.
We think it is deliberate, but we do not know the motive", had previously explained to AFP Pierre Brochet, chief of police in Laval, a suburb of Montreal where the tragedy took place.
The man was stopped by parents dropping off their children at the daycare and a neighbor. "He opened the door. He took off all his clothes. He was totally naked. We dived on him to subdue him," said the neighbor, Hamdi Ben Chaabane, to Radio Canada.
He was in another world, he kept screaming. He wasn't saying words," he added.
The Quebec emergency services told AFP that one of the two young victims died on the spot. The other died after being taken care of by the ambulance. The six other children still hospitalized are for some seriously injured but out of danger. No adults were injured.
At the end of the afternoon, in a district under the shock, a perimeter was still in place around the daycare center, noted journalists of the AFP. And the bus was still embedded in the building, which a part of the roof collapsed.
The tragedy occurred around 08:30, when many parents were dropping off their children. Several were found trapped under the bus, before being freed, said the rescue services.
The facility, which houses between 80 and 85 children, is located in a residential area of this city on the western outskirts of Montreal with a population of 438,000.
On the snow-covered sidewalks, parents came throughout the day to pick up their evacuated children. A crisis unit was set up in a nearby school.
Quebec flags will be flown at half-mast, and the tower of the Olympic Stadium in Montreal will be extinguished Wednesday night in memory of the victims, as will the iconic CN Tower in Toronto.