Calls for caution after a diving accident killing a man in Laval – Montreal

It’s been almost two years since William Montpetit’s accident when the 21-year-old broke his C5 and C6 vertebrae after diving into a swimming pool.

Doctors told him he would never be able to walk again, but he says he is getting stronger every day.

“Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but you have to go day in and day out,” said Montpetit.

On Sunday, Laval police said a 41-year-old man died after diving into the shallow end of a residential swimming pool.

According to the Quebec Lifesaving Society, there are on average about 10 diving accidents per year in Quebec that result in either injury or death. And in most cases, the victims are men.

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Sacred Heart Hospital doctor says while deaths don’t happen often, the injuries that can result from poor diving are life changing

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“These patients often have spinal cord injury, cervical spinal cord injury, they are quadriplegic, so they are paralyzed from the neck down.” said Dr. Jean-Marc Mac-Thiong, an orthopedic surgeon at Sacred Heart Hospital.

Now a quadriplegic, Montpetit says he regrets diving carelessly that day, and is saddened to learn that accidents like his still happen.

“Go there feet first. You can have so much fun playing, but be careful. Try to be careful and try to think before you act,” he said.

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“We ask everyone to follow our water safety advice, such as never diving when you don’t know or the depth rating [the water] east,” said Raynald Hawkins of the Lifesaving Society of Quebec.

Hawkins advises following simple rules like making sure the water depth is twice your height. He also adds that you should never go headfirst into above ground pools, shallow parts or lakes.

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“Diving is a very good sport, a very good activity, but you have to make sure that your installation is acceptable for doing this activity,” he said.

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