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(Updated 10:30 a.m., June 3)
Community rallies to support Viseneau accident victim and her family

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

It's often said that you truly don't know how many friends you have until a time of crisis. Amelie and Camille Chartrand are finding that out firsthand as they deal with the aftermath of an accident that sent Camille to the hospital in critical condition last weekend.

Camille, 18, was sitting in her Smart car in the family's driveway on Viseneau Street last Sunday morning when out of the blue, her vehicle was struck by another car at around 6:30 a.m.

Photo provided by PatTeolis

Unconscious and trapped in her car, firefighters had to extricate Chartrand before she could be rushed off to the hospital.

The 23-year-old driver of the other vehicle was arrested at the scene uninjured and was charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm, driving with more than 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

Camille was taken to the Civic Caampus of the Hospital where is being treated for a severe head injury.

Her mother Amelie, has remained at her side through the entire ordeal and posts regular updates on her Facebook page to let friends and family know how Camille is doing.

Camille Chartrand with her mother Amélie. Facebook photo

The accident couldn't have occurred at a worse time for the mother and daughter. Amelie just started her own business on April 30 and she was in the process of selling her home, in fact, her agent closed the day after the accident.

She has put the business, Cre8tive Junktion, on hold until her daughter is well enough to return home. The furniture and craft store is located 110 Bearbrook Road in Blackburn Hamlet in the space previously occupied by former Ottawa-Orleans MPP Phil McNeely.

In order to help Amelie keep up with the bills, a group of friends organized an open house and silent auction at the store on Saturday during the Blackburn Fun Fair. Lead organizer and fellow entrepreneur Cheryl Wells said there was a steady stream of people bidding on the various auction items all day.

"It was a great day spurred on by horrific circumstances,” said Wells. “It was the community’s way of letting her know that her store is valued, she is valued, her family is valued.”

Amelie thanked the community on her Facebook page.

"I can't even express what this gesture means to me. I feel like it was not anyone's responsibility to look out for me. I feel like I didn't do anything to be deserving of this. I feel like so many other causes and people could use a helping hand...why us??? But for whatever reason I was given this incredible community filled with generosity and care....I am humbled. You are helping Camille have her mom by her side and for that I will be forever grateful.

“Camille Chartrand....if you ever doubted if people liked you or cated about you....just look around and feel the energy of this community,” the post read. “Mommy has been saving every single message and when you get home we will make a scrapbook and call it....When A Community Comes Together.”

The accident happened on a street that is notorious for speeding. Local residents have been trying to get the city to put in traffic calming measures for more than two years.

A traffic management was conducted in 1994 which resulted in a number of recommendations including a number of intersection narrowings and a series of concrete medians. Speed bumps were not presented as an option due to the fact that Viseneau is a busy bus route.

It was only after 43 residents petitioned Innes Ward Coun. Jody Mitic, requesting that speed bumps by used as an effective traffic calming measuret that city staff acquiesed. The speed bumps and other traffic calming measures are suppoosed to be installed this summer.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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