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Woman who helped ducks on side of Montreal-area highway gets 90-day prison term

Emma Czornobaj, who caused a fatal traffic accident after stopping her car to help ducks on a busy highway, arrives at court in Montreal Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 for sentencing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

A woman who caused a fatal traffic accident after stopping her car to help ducks on a busy highway has been sentenced to 90 days in prison.

Emma Czornobaj will serve the time on weekends, probably beginning in January.

The sentence handed down in Montreal today also prohibits her from driving for 10 years and stipulates she must do 240 hours of community service.

After Czornobaj stopped her car in June 2010 to rescue ducklings on the side of the highway, a motorcycle carrying the victims —Andre Roy and his teenager daughter Jessie — slammed into her vehicle.

A jury convicted her of two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.

The Crown was seeking nine months of detention and the 240 hours of community service, while the defence argued she should only get the community service.

Czornobaj’s lawyer, Marc Labelle, said he likely won’t appeal the 90-day sentence.

“It seems to me it is a fit and reasonable sentence, although we will ask the Court of Appeal to look into the driving prohibition for 10 years,” he told reporters.

Labelle was also asked about the judge’s comments that Czornobaj showed no remorse during the proceedings.

“This young lady is not a person used to the public and certainly not used to court appearances and the court process,” he said. “And although she does have remorse and she deeply regrets what happened, she was not able to verbalize it properly.”

Asked whether such an admission would have made a difference in the sentence, he replied: “No.”