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Woman guilty over deaths in duck stop

AP

A Canadian woman who parked her car on a highway to help a group of ducklings on the side of the road was found guilty Friday of causing the deaths of a motorcyclist and his passenger daughter who slammed into her car.

Emma Czornobaj was convicted by a jury on two counts of criminal negligence causing death, a charge that carries a maximum life sentence, and two counts of dangerous driving causing death, which comes with a maximum of 14 years in jail.

The 25-year-old was charged in the deaths of Andre Roy, 50, and his daughter Jessie, 16.

She wiped away tears when the verdict was delivered to a packed courtroom in Montreal. Quebec Superior Court Justice Eliane Perreault said the 12-member jury voted unanimously.

Czornobaj was released until her pre-sentence hearing on Aug. 8.

Roy’s motorcycle slammed into Czornobaj’s car, which was stopped in the left lane of a provincial highway south of Montreal in 2010.

Czornobaj, a self-professed animal lover, told the court that she did not see the ducklings’ mother anywhere and planned to capture them and take them home.

Prosecutor Annie-Claude Chasse had a message for motorists.

“What we hope is that a clear message is sent to society that we do not stop on the highway for animals. It’s not worth it,” Chasse said.