Pothole Perils: Meteor-like debris causes vehicle damage on Montreal’s Highway 40

Montreal, Quebec — Transport Quebec has identified a pothole on Highway 40 as the likely cause of vehicle damages reported last Thursday, including damage to a West Island couple’s windshield, which they described as being shattered by debris resembling a “meteor.”

Transport Quebec received reports of vehicle damage on Highway 40 East near the Highway 13 viaduct in St-Laurent. Louis-André Bertrand stated that punctures linked to a pothole were reported in the sector during the same period. The pothole on Highway 40 West, near Highway 13, was filled during the night from Thursday to Friday.

As originally reported by the Gazette on Saturday, Dan Cholewa and Hillary Cohen were traveling east on Highway 40 when their windshield was shattered by concrete.

They reported the incident to an officer who attributed the issue to a pothole on Highway 13 above Highway 40, noting that a dozen similar reports had been received.

Transport Quebec has clarified that the pothole was actually located on westbound Highway 40 near Highway 13 and affirmed the Highway 13 overpass’s good condition.

The Transport Quebec patrol officer who responded to the incident on Thursday “concluded that the incident was probably due to a loss of cargo from a vehicle that drove into a pothole or a piece of ice that broke off from another nearby vehicle,” St-Laurent, Transport Quebec spokesperson Louis-André Bertrand wrote.

“I know that it was not ice,” Cholewa said on Tuesday. “I’ve had ice fly at me before. And this was so clear as day concrete because of the shape of it, and the texture. You could see the grainy texture of it as it hit the windshield.”

According to Cholewa, Transport Quebec’s attribution of the incident to ice or cargo deflects from the broader issue of poor road conditions. “They don’t want to take any responsibility for it,” he criticized.

As of Tuesday afternoon, it was still uncertain whether the initial report of a vehicle damaged by debris on Highway 40 was referring to Cholewa and Cohen’s car or another vehicle.

“I don’t want the province to have to wait for somebody to die to take action,” Cohen said.

“I’m just lucky to be alive and hugging my kids a little bit tighter knowing that it could have been different.”


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