A 40-year-old driver has been killed after his camper hurtled up a ferry terminal ramp, flew through the air over the water and slammed down on a departing ship’s deck.
Éric Belec from Laval, Quebec, was pulled from the wreckage of the decimated recreational vehicle and rushed to hospital where he died hours later.
A female passenger, 40, who in the RV with Belec was also pulled from the wreckage alive and remains in critical condition, Canadian officials confirmed.
Dramatic CCTV footage from Monday afternoon shows the extraordinary moment the vehicle soared over the edge of the ramp, reportedly due to mechanical failures.
A witness on the scene confirmed to DailyMail.com that no passengers on the ferry were injured in the crash.
The RV is smashed to smithereens as it crunches down on to the deck of a ferry which connects two towns in Quebec
In a scene which would not look out of place in an action movie, the motorhome shoots up the ramp and into the air above the river
Spotting the looming campervan, the ferry’s passenger’s sprint out of the way a split-second before the RV smashes down
Video taken from the stern of the ferry shows the ship pulling away from the terminal for its 10-minute journey across the Saguenay River from Tadoussac to Baie-Sainte-Catherine, according to Live Leak.
Several cars and a small crowd of people are gathered on the deck as the ferry motors through the water, roughly 30ft from the ramp which the vehicles have just used to board the vessel.
Racing along the tarmac towards the ramp, a white RV can be seen and does not appear to be slowing down.
Éric Belec from Laval, Quebec, was pulled from the wreckage of the decimated campervan and rushed to hospital where he died hours later
The motorhome suddenly shoots up the ramp and into the air above the river before plummeting down towards the ferry’s deck.
Spotting the looming campervan, the ferry’s passenger’s sprint out of the way a split-second before the RV smashes down and shatters into smithereens.
Cindy Desbiens, who was on the deck with her two children, told CBC: ‘It was like being in a movie. It [seemed] impossible that something like this would happen.’
And witness Claire Gagné said: ‘There was a lot of panic. A lot of people almost got hit.’
The Sûreté du Québec have reportedly blamed a mechanical fault in Mr Belec’s RV for the driver’s failure to brake.
But observers have praised the tragic driver whose ‘heroic’ actions reportedly averted a much worse accident.
As the RV sped down the steep Highway 138 – the road leading to the ferry dock – he honked his horn to alert people and veered past oncoming cars.
Chloé Duplessis, another passenger on the deck, told a local radio station: ‘He was trying to stop by swerving into the metal gates on the side of the road.’
And Tadoussac’s mayor, Charles Breton, expressed relief that no children were peering over the stern of the ship as they often like to do and that the ferry had already departed.
He said: ‘If [the ferry] had taken off two seconds before, or two seconds later, the outcome could have been entirely different.’
He added: ‘All the elements are there for a catastrophic scenario.’
The road leading to the port is on a dramatic slope and locals have long called upon the local authority to build a safer route.
In the wake of this week’s fatal crash, Mayor Breton vowed to improve the Highway 138.
He said: ‘I think this accident reminds us this has to be a priority.’
The ferry port where the crash occurred on Monday afternoon in Quebec is pictured in a file photo from August 2011