Power outage for energy company truck

·2 min read

It was lights out for a Bluewater Power truck on the receiving end of a fentanyl induced collision.

And now it will cost a Sarnia man more than $3,000 to repair the damage, in addition to several other penalties.

Robert Larocque, 35, learned the extent of his punishment in court Mar. 16. But he also heard he was lucky things didn’t end up much worse.

“A very serious concern for your safety and well-being, but also for public safety in the circumstances of this incident,” says Justice Deborah Austin after hearing the facts. “Thankfully no one was injured and the impact was limited to property damage.”

Just minutes before, court heard shortly after noon Oct. 14 a serious crash was recorded at Campbell and Kirby St. after a vehicle entered the opposite lane. Police arrived to find a Dodge pickup and Bluewater Power truck each with severe front-end damage.

Workers in the power truck were unharmed, but officers found Larocque behind the wheel of the pickup in a semi-conscious state. Austin later described him as “severely incapacitated.” The cause was fentanyl, which there was ready evidence of in the truck.

Larocque remained unresponsive for some time, and finally had to be removed from the truck by emergency services. He regained some consciousness but had to be given naloxone while en route to the hospital. Larocque would eventually recover and was released.

“I haven’t touched it since the accident,” Larocque says of the offending drug.

“Fentanyl is something that this court hears about all too frequently associated with bad outcomes for people, and tragic losses and harm in our community,” says Austin. “I hope you have taken that as a wakeup call and realize how close you came to a tragic outcome.”

Larocque was fined $2,000 for impaired driving and handed a one year driving ban. He also owes $3,452 to Bluewater Power for their damaged truck.

Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent