Credits: COURTESY SÛRETÉ DU QUÉBEC
MONTREAL - The cruiser driven by a 23-year-old Quebec provincial police officer who crashed and later died was the subject of a General Motors safety recall.
GM announced in August that it recalled 1,713 Chevrolet Impala Police Sedans from the 2008-2012 model years sold in Canada.
The company said at the time that the cars' front lower control arms could fracture. Provincial police said 448 vehicles in their fleet were subject to the recall.
"A broken control arm can result in the loss of control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash," read a GM recall statement on the website of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The safety recall was expected to begin Aug. 21.
Katia Hadouchi, who had been on the force for two years and was diving alone, lost control of her cruiser and hit a tree last Wednesday evening on a road about 80 km north of Montreal. She died Thursday morning in hospital.
Provincial police Sgt. Benoit Richard told QMI Agency on Friday that General Motors recalled the vehicles for a "preventative inspection" and that the cars were not required to be removed from duty.
However, hours after Hadouchi died, the director general of the provincial police, Richard Deschenes, temporarily suspended all vehicles that had not yet been inspected for the fracturing problem.
Sgt. Ronald McInnis told QMI Agency on Sunday that two-thirds of the 448 vehicles had been inspected before the crash that killed Hadouchi.
It is unclear if the cruiser that Hadouchi was driving had been inspected for possible fracturing problems.
"We don't know why the crash happened ... and since we don't know the causes, we're pulling the vehicles," Richard said.
McInnis refused to answer questions on Sunday about the investigation, referring QMI Agency to the
Montreal police force, which had taken over the case.
Montreal police told QMI Agency on Sunday that no one in the force was able to speak about Hadouchi's death or the GM recall until Monday.
QMI Agency was unable to reach a representative from GM for comment on Sunday.
-- With files from Jean-Marc Gilbert and Elizabeth Laplante