“She could have been saved five times over”: Family of woman mourns drowning in her vehicle

“She could have been saved five times over”: Family of woman mourns drowning in her vehicle

Grief is “very difficult” for the family of a young notary who died two months ago in the South River in Montmagny, under the helpless gaze of a dozen firefighters. Lack of training could not help her.

• Read more: A prisoner of his vehicle, a notary drowned in front of helpless rescuers

Joined by NewspaperBertrand Botvin, the victim’s father, could not explain why the municipality of Montmagny had not yet trained its firefighters to carry out maritime rescues (See other text)

“I wonder what it’s going to take […] Are they waiting for another free death? He fell down, still traumatized by the tragic events.

On April 21, his daughter Josyanne Tanguy-Pelletier, 36, lost her life when the car she was riding in plunged into the river’s icy waters.

She was trapped in a car that floated for nearly 25 minutes with the helpless gaze of first responders and witnesses who were in contact with her until the last second.

For some inexplicable reason, Jossanne Tanguy-Pelletier’s vehicle ended up near the Chemin des Cascades in Montmagny at the Rivière du Sud.

Photo by QMI Agency, Marcel Tremblay

In the days that followed, Newspaper The municipality’s fire protection department has had a boat required for maritime rescue operations since August 2020, but there have been delays in training its firefighters.

“The child died, they stole her. She could have been saved five times,” says Mr Potvin with emotion.

Interviews were denied

For his part, Pierre Boucher, head of the fire protection department of the city of Montmagny, did not want to answer our questions in this regard.

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Mayor Mark Laurin also declined our requests for an interview.

Also, till date, no member of the municipal administration has contacted the victim’s family and offered an explanation or condolence message.


Josiene Tanguy-Pelletier’s parents did not understand why no one came to their daughter’s aid when the car she was riding in crashed on April 21 at the Rivière du Sud in Montmagny. Left to right, the victim’s mother, Maurice Tanguy, Jossanne Tanguy-Pelletier, 36, and her father, Bertrand Potvin.

There are many questions

As of now, the cause of the tragedy is unknown. “Did she have any discomfort? A car that was lifted?” Mr. Potvin questions every day.

“The pain is high because if she hits a concrete wall or a ten-wheeler, she will die instantly and there is nothing you can say or do before that. But when she’s alive for twenty-five minutes, to come to terms with the vision and ask for help, that’s the hardest part,” says the estranged father.

Mr. Botvin hopes to get more answers with the coroner’s report, which will be made public in the coming months.

Firefighters in shock

The boat that managed to quickly intervene with the young notary last April 21 had been “sleeping” for almost three years and the firefighters of the city of Montmagny did not understand why they had not been trained to use it.

Many firefighters from the town of Montmagny, but especially those at the scene of the tragedy, are still struggling to recover from this “traumatic ordeal”.

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Some of them agreed to believe RegisterBut on condition of anonymity, for fear of reprisal.

A week after the tragedy, the fire department sent out a press release to all its employees, reminding them that they were not authorized to provide “any information” regarding the fire.

“Your discretion during your personal interviews and your daily meetings testify to your solidarity with your team”, we read.

“Feelings of Helplessness”

However, the firefighters interviewed say the “sense of helplessness” they experienced during the events is still too hard to bear.

“Some are still struggling to leave their homes,” we were told.

Better equip cities

Tragedies involving firefighters have made headlines in recent months, including the death of two volunteer firefighters in Saint-Urbain and Pierre Lacroix in 2021, prompting the Ministère de la Sécurité Public to draft a “reference law”. “Equip emergency responders from local and regional authorities during naval rescue interventions”.

The document, due to be made public by Christmas, will help “improve and standardize” existing procedures, particularly in the marine rescue sector in Quebec.

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