The Quebec government says it will make whatever improvements are necessary to improve signage and other safety measures at a highway exit near Châteauguay, Que., where four people died in a head-on collision early Tuesday.
Pierre Moreau, the National Assembly member for Châteauguay, told reporters that he's working with Quebec's Transportation Minister Laurent Lessard and Châteauguay Mayor Nathalie Simon to address concerns about the exit, where another fatal collision occurred in 2015.
"We will make sure that we will have an improvement of the situation," he said Tuesday afternoon.
Quebec provincial police Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau said a car entered Highway 30, near Châteauguay, in the wrong direction around 12:15 a.m. ET and collided with a car travelling westbound.
The car travelling the wrong way was carrying three family members from the nearby community of Sainte-Catherine: 80-year-old Pierre Julien Proulx, who was driving, his 14-year-old grandson in the passenger seat and his 82-year-old wife, Raymonde Bouchard Proulx, in the back. All three were killed.
The other vehicle contained four women and one man, who were heading to Ontario. The front seat passenger, 56-year-old Carole Downer, died.
The other passengers were seriously injured, sustaining broken bones and other injuries, but are expected to survive. They were taken to a nearby hospital.
Intersection a known problem, says mayor
Simon said there are problems with the intersection near where the collision occurred that must be addressed.
"The signs are there, but it seems like people either don't see them or they see them too late," she said.
Moreau said signs and lighting are two immediate concerns that may need improvement, as both accidents occurred at night.
"We have to look at if the lighting is proper at this location and this is what we're going to do, and we're already working on it," he said. "We won't wait for a coroner's report."
The collision occurred just before the exit to Haute-Rivière Road.
That intersection is part of a new stretch of the highway that opened in 2012. In 2015, two men died following a similar crash in the same area. A coroner's report into that collision has not been completed.
On the exit ramp to Haute-Rivière, there are two signs warning motorists that have made a wrong turn to turn around.
Simon said she's noticed motorists unsure of where they were going in the area and has, herself, even honked at people who were going the wrong way.
After the 2015 crash, Simon said she asked Moreau to look into what can be done to improve safety at the intersection.
Others have made same mistake, says resident
Châteauguay resident Siddiqa Sadiq said she, too, has seen drivers turn to approach the highway from the wrong direction.
In general, Sadiq said she believes there's a lack of signage in the area. "It's a really big intersection with maybe one sign at the very beginning," she said.
Investigators were at the scene overnight trying to determine exactly what happened.
They are looking into whether speed or a lack of visibility may have played a part in the crash, although Thibaudeau said conditions appeared to be good around the time.
He said investigators will also meet with witnesses.