The families of the children whose daycare was hit by a city bus one year ago gathered in a solemn ceremony on Thursday and released two balloons — symbols for the two young children who died that day.
They carried white roses, shed tears and sobbed as the balloons drifted skyward just before 10:30 a.m. — almost one year to the hour that the bus hit the daycare. It was a largely private ceremony, with a crowd of journalists and photographers standing nearby as the parents hugged one another and shared a moment of remembrance and grief.
Last year, on Feb. 8, Pierre Ny St-Amand, a city bus driver who worked for the Société de transport de Laval (STL), rammed his bus into a daycare at speed. The impact killed two children, Jacob Gauthier and Maëva David, aged 4 and 5, injured six others and sent shockwaves of grief across the Laval community and Quebec as a whole.
But, even one year later, there are few answers to the question of “why?”
After the crash, Ny St-Amand emerged from the bus and acted erratically before several neighbours and parents subdued him.
Prosecutors say he crashed the bus into the daycare on purpose, but Ny St-Amand’s defence lawyer has raised the possibility that he was not aware of his actions.
He has been charged with several crimes, including two counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder, while also having undergone a series of psychological evaluations.
His preliminary hearing is set for March.
The apparent senselessness of the event continues to weigh heavily on neighbours and the parents of the children who were seemingly targeted.