Woman killed in 40-car pileup on Ontario highway
Published Friday, January 21, 2011 9:04PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 3:43AM EDT
A massive crash involving up to 40 vehicles on an Ontario highway killed one person Friday, while shocking video captured another traffic accident west of Toronto.
The pileup occurred just before 12 p.m. ET on Highway 11, about halfway between the cities of Barrie and Orillia, in Oro-Medonte Township.
A tractor-trailer could be seen on its side in the aftermath of the crash and there is a thick layer of snow on the ground at the crash site. Pickup trucks, cars and other vehicles were also involved in the crash.
In an interview with ctvtoronto.ca, OPP Const. Peter Leon confirmed that a female had died on Friday.
Leon said the victim was involved in the pile-up and got out of her vehicle to survey the damage, at which point she was struck by another vehicle.
Her death is a reminder that "the safest place for anyone is in their car" in the event of a crash, Leon said.
Drivers at the scene told CTV that the driving conditions deteriorated quickly as snow created white-out conditions.
Ken Rigby said he believed a number of vehicles were driving "way too fast" for the conditions on the highway.
Craig Hinton said he slowed down when the snow started to create visibility problems, though he was later rear-ended by after he managed to bring his car to a stop.
"I slowed right down…came to a stop and then I noticed right a couple of cars ahead of me were getting hit and then I looked in my rearview mirror and I see this car come up behind me and I braced myself and I said: ‘Here, we go,' and I see her and she just smashed right into the back of me," said Hinton.
For several minutes after that Hinton said he could hear crashes happening nearby, but he couldn't see them because of the snow.
Leon said a single northbound lane of Highway 11 remains open, though the southbound lanes will remain closed until the early evening.
The crash remains under investigation by police and Leon said it is too early to say if any charges will be laid.
The Environment Canada website warns that snow squall warnings are in effect for Barrie and Orillia on Friday. Up to 10 centimetres of snow is expected to fall before the snow squalls weaken.
A second incident Friday on Highway 401 west of Toronto was caught on video by a lucky driver who had a dashboard camera.
The video shows a tractor trailer travelling eastbound before veering out of control and crashing through the median and into oncoming traffic, sending large pieces of concrete flying through the air.
The driver of the vehicle with the camera swerves across two traffic lanes to avoid the truck and the debris, as do several other drivers.
"Are you okay?" a female voice in the vehicle asks.
"Yes," a male voice responds, sounding exasperated. "Holy f--k."
Miraculously no one was seriously injured in the crash, which involved six other vehicles.
Glen Berry was at the wheel of a white van in the outside lane when the incident happened.
At the time, road conditions were "slushy, sloppy," he said.
"As a little common sense, slow down when you see snow. But people are stupid -- they don't know enough to slow down," he told CTV News Channel.
"Trailer drivers, I will give them a lot of credit. They are good drivers. But there is always those idiots out there."