Head-on crash kills three

David Basque never got to see his second child.

Basque, 45, was one of three people killed in a three-vehicle crash in Inkerman Ferry on the Acadian Peninsula late Friday night. He left behind a young daughter and his pregnant wife, Renée.

Police are expected to release the names of the other two crash victims today.

Jean-Albert Chiasson remembers Basque as a hardworking, much-beloved member of the Lamèque community.

He owned blueberry fields and a machine shop, Chiasson said, and would clear people’s snow in the winter with his tractor.

Chiasson owns Garage Central Lamèque, which is where the crumpled vehicles now sit.

“The trucks are gone, the car is gone, everything is gone,” he said. “That’s the worst accident I’ve ever seen.”

In the days since the accident, hundreds of people from all over the surrounding area have gathered at Chiasson’s garage to see the wreckage.

Standing solemnly in the rain, members of the community have tried to piece together what happened.

The investigation is ongoing, said Const. Jean-Francois Dulac. Official details should be available in about a week.

But from what Chiasson’s gathered, Basque was driving along Route 113 in his 4×4 Dodge Ram that night, following a dark car towing a trailer. The trailer held a box of bees and a forklift.

At around 10:30 p.m., they came to a curve and became involved in an accident with an oncoming vehicle, also a Dodge Ram, carrying a man from British Columbia who was working at a wind farm in Lamèque.

Basque and the driver of the other Dodge Ram died, as did a man in the vehicle towing a trailer. A women in that vehicle was taken to hospital with injuries.

When Dulac got there, he said the air was filled with buzzing bees, with a thousand more dead on the road.

Dulac said about 30 people, including firemen, police, paramedics, a gas station attendant and other community members, gathered on the road to help and watch.

In Lamèque, which has a population of about 1,500, people are really feeling the pain of losing a member of their community, said Dulac. Everyone knew Basque, he said.

“It’s very tough for the community.”

Previously published June 20, 2011; Telegraph-Journal