Senator Roméo Dallaire smashed into a lamp post with his BMW on Parliament Hill this week.
No one was injured.
He said he fell asleep at the wheel due to a lack of sleep. The impact woke him up. The first thing he asked was “Did I hit someone?”
They told him “No” but the front end of the car suffered significant damage and had to be towed away.
Dallaire later apologized profusely to his colleagues in the Senate.
"I am grateful that nobody was hurt or worse. I hope I have not shamed you or this institution because I did not pay enough attention to my physical condition and took such a risk," apologized the Senator.
The senator is one of Canada’s hero generals who commanded the United Nations contingent in Rwanda and ended up being caught in the middle of the atrocities and massacres during the civil war of 1994.
General Dallaire has suffered ever since from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
"It means that I have a lot of trouble sleeping, even if I take medication. So I simply need more energy," he said.
The accident calls attention to a growing problem in the Canadian armed forces.
In the past three weeks, four Canadian soldiers who fought in the Afghan war have committed suicide after returning back to Canada, in Val Cartier, Petawawa, and two more in Western Canada. One was a war hero, a second committed suicide after he was charged with assault on his wife, and the others simply could not overcome post-traumatic stress.
General Dallaire says bad memories of massacres in Rwanda have been coming back to him as next year is the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda.