2 Nunavik women dead in separate Montreal highway incidents

 By David Venn

 Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Two Nunavik women in their 20s have died in separate incidents after being hit by vehicles on Montreal-area highways.

Surete du Quebec spokesperson Sgt. Stephane Tremblay said the two incidents are not connected, but the two women were living at the Ullivik lodging facility, where Inuit from Nunavik stay while seeking medical services in Montreal.

Both incidents happened in Dorval, a short distance away from Ullivik, which is located near the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

On Friday at around 4:15 a.m., police were called to respond to a woman in a wheelchair who was “seriously injured” after being hit by a vehicle on Highway 520.

The woman, who was identified by police as 22-year-old Mary-Jane Tulugak from Puvirnituq, was taken to hospital where she later died.

The driver of the vehicle was also taken to hospital “in shock,” Tremblay said.

The second incident took place less than 24 hours later.

At around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday morning, 26-year-old Nellie Niviaxie from Umiujaq was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck by “several” vehicles on Highway 20, Tremblay said.

SQ collision investigators are looking into what happened in both incidents, Tremblay said, but no charges are expected to be laid.

“There’s no criminal investigation on the drivers who hit in both cases,” Tremblay said.

Tremblay also said that police are looking into why the two women were on dangerous highways, in areas where pedestrians are not supposed to walk.

Nunatsiaq News called Ullivik to get information about the two incidents. An on-call manager referred questions to the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, which has not yet responded to a request for comment.

 David Venn is a  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter who works out of the

NUNATSIAQ NEWS. The LJI program is federally funded. Turtle Island News does not receive LJI funding.

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