The Ullivik residential center is located along Highway 520 in Dorval. Inuit traveling to southern Quebec for medical care may stay there between appointments.
Two women who were staying at the Ullivik accommodation center in Dorval died after being hit on the highway last week. One of them was walking on Highway 20, the other in a wheelchair on Highway 520.
Located near the Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau International Airport, the Ullivik Center is a place of stay for residents of the Far North of Quebec who travel to the south of the province to receive medical care. It's been open since 2016.
Both situations were completely unexpected, said Steven Kelly, acting director of community services at the center, run by the Regional Health and Human Services Authority. Nunavik Social Services (RRSSSN). We still wonder why this happened.
The first victim, Mary-Jane Tulugak, 22, of Puvirnituq, was traveling on Highway 520 in a wheelchair before being hit early Friday morning. She died in hospital shortly thereafter. According to Steven Kelly, she was in southern Quebec for minor surgery.
Then, the following night, another woman died after being hit multiple times on Highway 20. The crash happened around 1:20 a.m. Saturday, the Sûreté du Québec said ( SQ). 26-year-old Umiujaq woman, Nellie Niviaxie, was pronounced dead after being found by first responders.
She was at the center to accompany another person from community.
This is a very difficult time for everyone, said Steven Kelly, adding that necessary support has been offered to staff and residents who feel shaken by events.
The Coroner's Office has confirmed that a file has been opened to investigate the causes of the two tragedies.
The victims were both on the shoulder of highways in the vicinity of 55th Avenue when they were hit, the SQ said.Enlarge image
55th Avenue passes under Highway 520. It also passes under Highway 20 about 1 mile south.
Police do not believe the two crashes are directly related. She said, however, that an investigation had been launched to determine why the two women staying at the center decided to cross the highway like this.
No charges has been brought against any of the affected drivers.
The Ullivik Center helps organize trips for clients who need to travel during the day, but the service is not available on evenings and weekends.
Steven Kelly says that the center will continue to urge its visitors to be careful around the highways. He also promises to keep in touch with patients who are being sent to nearby hotels, since the Ullivik center can accommodate no more than 91 people per night.
We are closely monitoring people who are staying here, whether in Ullivik or nearby hotels, he said, saying his center can rely on a whole network – health care providers, police, etc. — if they go missing.
That said, residents are not micromanaged, Kelly said. We don't want to have to lock the door, he said, and visitors have the right to come and go as they please outside of their appointments.
With CBC information