Passenger talks about fatal moose crash
Published Thursday, November 15, 2012 8:10AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 15, 2012 6:08PM EST
A 68-year-old man is dead after the car he was driving hit a moose and rolled over on Highway 417 Wednesday night.
Ontario Provincial Police say it happened around 6:30 p.m. in a westbound lane between Walkley Road and Anderson Road.
Police say the driver, Mounir Hamaoui of Laval, had no vital signs as emergency crews worked to free him from the wreckage. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
His passenger, 20-year-old Algonquin College student Youssef Hazzi, was taken to hospital with minor injuries to his face, hands, shoulders and head.
"We were just talking about natural things, one second we saw the moose - we hit it and the car just rolled," Hazzi said.
"I felt so strange that two people are sitting together, one passed and the other one not even a scratch."
Ottawa fire officials said they had to remove the side of the car to get both of them out.
The thousand-pound moose was also killed.
"Here in eastern Ontario, a fatal moose collision is pretty rare," said a responding OPP officer.
Hunters, vehicle repair staff say time of year a factor
However, collisions with animals are not, according to workers at an area vehicle repair shop.
"We can come in on a Monday morning and there will be three or four sitting here, ready to be fixed or hoping to be fixed," said Steve Devlin of Devlin's Collision Centre.
"We call it deer season, It's deer season for the body shop too."
Hunters said throw a stick in the Ottawa Valley and you'll find someone who's either hit a deer or moose or come dangerously close.
"You're more aware because deer are moving more because of breeding season," said Carle Leclaire, who added more motorists are driving when it's darker because of Daylight Savings Time.
"You watch the road - each side of the road - you look in ditches," said Mike Kobus.
"If you see what looks like eyes looking at you, it's time to slow down."
Ontario police say if you see one deer, be aware there will be more that could bolt onto the road.
They also say to avoid swerving suddenly as it could cause your car to go out of control.
"Just take care and watch out the road," said Hazzi.