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Hwy 105 death sparks speed reduction petition

April 14th,2023 | News

Emilian Dragulescu was struck and killed on March 22 while walking his dog on Hwy 105 in Chelsea. His death has sparked a petition among residents to reduce the speed along the residential portions of the highway. Low Down file photo

Liliana Dragulescu-Benitez wants to ensure that no more lives are lost on Hwy 105, after her father was hit and killed while walking his dog on March 22 near his Chelsea home in the Burnett sector.

Benitez and 143 others have signed a Change.org petition to pressure the government to change the speed limit from 70 km/h to 50 km/h.

“If you are driving at a lower speed, you won’t kill someone,” said Dragulescu-Benitez, who said she’s still dealing with the grief of losing her 74-year-old father, Emilian, and his dog, Shadow. “It makes no sense that the speed is 70 km/h in that residential portion. I don’t feel that that’s a highway. I don’t know if I can call it a residential road, but it’s residential. Every 300 metres there are three houses.”

The petition argues as much, stating that since the expansion of Hwy 5 to Wakefield, Hwy 105 is no longer an arterial road for motorists and should be considered a residential zone.

“Our request is based on the fact that the current speed limit of 70 km/h is no longer valid, since Route 105 is now a residential road and no longer a through road,” wrote Chelsea resident Marie Labrecque, who started the petition. The petition argues that Hwy 5, which runs parallel to the 105, “provides a quick and safe connection between the north and south of the Outaouais.”

“[Hwy 105] is used by thousands of cyclists and pedestrians each year; has many bends that limit visibility; is riddled with private entrances and roads that involve frequent entries and exits of vehicles on the road; has an irregular and sometimes very narrow shoulder for pedestrians and cyclists, which poses a risk of collision,” the petition states.

The petition was spurred by the late March tragedy where Emilian was struck and killed by another elderly driver. According to his daughter Liliana, Emilian died from direct trauma to the head and he had no other injuries to his body.

The grieving family said they are now left wondering if the elderly man was picking up dog poop or tying his shoe, and they want to know how a driver could not have spotted the man in broad daylight. The accident happened around 5:15 p.m. on March 22.

Police continue to investigate the crash and have not laid any charges in the case. A total of 144 residents had signed the petition by press time. Access it here: https://www.change.org/p/limite-de-vitesse-route-105-route-105-speed-limit.

Transports Québec is aware of the file, but could not respond to the Low Down’s queries by press time.

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