Members of a local band are mourning their drummer who was killed along with one other person in a horrific crash involving a bear late Monday.
Steven Leon, 40, was in the back seat of a Nissan Pathfinder when the bear came crashing through the windshield after being hit by another car in the opposite lane of Hwy. 148 near Luskville around 10 p.m.
The 25-year-old Ottawa woman driving the SUV was also killed.
Her boyfriend, the 28-year-old man in the passenger seat, survived the crash. He was taken to Hull hospital with minor injuries and later released.
Leon’s mother, Lorraine Leon, had little to say when reached at her Gatineau home Tuesday.
“I’m choosing not to make any comments to the press,” she said.
“Steve was one of the best drummers,” said Leon’s Road Worthy bandmate, Steve Mackey. “It’s going to be a sad loss for his family and for all of us.”
Leon lived in Gatineau and was an integral part of the five-piece classic-rock-meets-country band.
The group usually practised on Tuesday nights and Leon was known for showing his stuff off in countless competitions.
“He was always there,” said Mackey. “He was one of the good old boys.”
The man who survived the crash is the son of band leader Christopher Fellows — whose wife and daughter also play in the group.
The dead woman’s family asked police not to release her name.
The two men in the Pontiac Sunfire that first hit the bear escaped injury.
The bizarre crash isn’t something police have had much experience with.
“The bear went through the windshield on the driver’s side and went back out by the back window. So can you imagine?” said MRC des Collines Const. Martin Fournel. “I have to say, it’s a first.”
The crash brings the number of road fatalities in the region to nine this year.
As for Road Worthy, the group is going to “let things settle down for a bit,” said Mackey.
There’s no planned tribute to Leon — yet.
“You always want someone’s memory to live on,” Mackey said.
— with files from Justin Sadler