When Isaac Lemay got the message Sunday night inviting him to join five friends for a drive, his father ordered him to bed instead.
It turned out to be a move that might have saved the 13-year-old’s life.
Around 2 a.m. Monday, the 15-year-old behind the wheel of the car lost control on a curve along Base-de-Roc Boulevard near Joliette, north of Montreal, and crashed into a tree.
Two passengers, a 14-year-old and 17-year-old, died. The other two passengers, aged 13 and 16, were taken to hospital in critical condition.
“If I had been in the car, I may not be here talking right now,” Isaac told CBC News on Monday.
‘It’s a trip for young people’
His father Alain Lemay said he had grounded Isaac after catching him trying to sneak out Saturday night. When the invitation came from his friends on Sunday, Lemay decided to extend his son’s punishment.
“He was supposed to go, but given that I’d caught him Saturday night, he wasn’t there,” Lemay said.
Looking upward, Lemay then said “Thank you, Lord.”
After learning of the crash, Isaac admitted to his father that he’d been on a similar high-speed ride just last week.
“It’s that feeling of freedom,” Isaac explained to reporters Monday. “It’s a trip for young people, and it can often turn out wrong.”
“You can’t fool yourself into thinking it only happens to other people. I’ve now got the proof — two of my friends are dead.”
The car driven by the 15-year-old went off the road on a curve and hit a tree, killing two passengers and critically injuring two others. Friends placed a teddy bear at the tree Monday. (CBC)
Isaac and Alain Lemay visited the crash site Monday to pay their respects. The father also spoke with the parents of the 14-year-old who died.
“I just took them in my arms,” Lemay said.
Possibility of charges
The driver, who was too young to be legally allowed to drive, sustained minor injuries, and has been released from hospital.
Alcohol was ruled out as a factor in the crash, but Quebec provincial police are looking into the possibility the driver was speeding.
The driver could face criminal charges, including dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death.
He was released from police custody and is due back in Joliette youth court Nov. 22.