The 21-year-old man who died in Nanaimo's first road fatality of 2011 was only moments from home before striking a support pillar below a train trestle Saturday evening on Doumont Road.
Nanaimo RCMP said that speed and weather conditions were factors in the accident that took the life of Bryan Mario Grondin-Boutot who was pronounced dead at the scene around 9:50 p.m. Saturday.
Grondin-Boutot's mother said that he had been upset and was on his way back to their Jenkins Road home, a short distance from the accident scene.
"He was supposed to go have coffee with one of his friends, and got into a fight with a girl he really liked, and was on his way home," Brenda Grondin-McNeil said.
The accident scene was thoroughly cleaned up after investigators scoured the area and the road was re-opened early Sunday morning. Apart from a few shards of glass, some small pieces of broken plastic and paint scrapes on the pillar, there was nothing left to indicate that a horrific scene unfolded the night before.
By noon, a small offering of white roses had been left as a memorial against the harsh backdrop of yellow visibility paint.
Randy Hosack, a resident living on nearby Denver Way said that the impact of the crash had convinced him that he was experiencing an earthquake.
"I even felt the concussion, it felt like my whole house was shaking so he really rammed it," Hosack said.
When there were no immediate aftershocks, he began to worry that a house nearby had been struck by a car but when he heard sirens from across the playing field that separates his yard from Doumont Rd. he realized what had occurred. Hosack lives approximately 120 metres from the crash site.
"I can feel the train coming on the tracks and I think that the tracks carried a bit of the concussion from the accident to my house.
"By the looks of it, he hit it from this side (west-bound). You can see the dent in the cement and the sign. That wasn't here yesterday when I went for my walk."
Hosack said that he heard tow trucks dragging and tearing metal from the support pillar as investigators determined the cause of the crash.
The pillar creates a divide in the road and is not quite visible when heading west-bound until drivers are nearly upon it. There is no room to stray from the roadway on either side.
"It's a treacherous curve, and if someone doesn't know the road then they're in trouble," Hosack added.
Grondin-Boutot was a dual-citizen who came to Nanaimo from Massachusetts in 2004 with his Step-father James, his mother Brenda and his sister Samantha. His MySpace.com page says that he left most of his family behind in the U.S. but his dual citizenship allows him to live in Canada where he admitted to having a hard time adjusting.
Grondin-Boutot enjoyed heavy metal music, video games and driving, his mother said. He was seeking work so that he could earn enough money to pay for his Class 1 instruction and become a truck driver, his mother added.
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