Violent winds and blowing snow led to whiteout conditions in Southern Ontario on Monday and contributed to a pair of massive pileups involving nearly 100 vehicles.

The first collision, on Highway 400 south of Barrie, Ont., involved about 70 vehicles, according to Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police’s Highway Safety Division.

There were no major injuries in the collisions, but 11 people were taken to hospital.

"(The crash was) significant in terms of vehicles involved but nothing serious in terms of injuries,” Schmidt told reporters at the scene.

The pileup closed down the lanes of Highway 400 in both directions for much of the day, but have since reopened. Barrie Transit buses were brought to the scene to keep people warm and to transport them to the Georgian Downs casino, which served as a makeshift collision reporting centre for police, tow-truck drivers and those involved in the collision.

Dr. Chris Martin, an emergency room doctor at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie said most of the crash victims arrived to the facility with bruises and strains from whiplash. One person suffered a fracture, he added. 

“Considering one was a tanker truck loaded with diesel, this could have been way worse,” he said.

Among those lucky to be safe is Akeem Young, who found himself caught in the middle of the pileup.

"My car is crushed. Both sides, front and back,” he told CTV Toronto. "My car slipped so I went right inside the truck."

Images from the scene show dozens of vehicles and transport trucks piled up, as well as scores of tow trucks and emergency response vehicles, smashed cars, SUVs, pickups and transports were scattered across the highway and into the ditch. The cause of the accident is still under investigation

"If you're not driving to those conditions you are going to get yourself in trouble, and that's exactly what we saw happen here today,” Schmidt said.

A second pileup that occurred at about the same time, approximately 70 kilometres north, and closed Highway 11 in both directions for several hours. That collision involved 27 vehicles, including multiple tractor-trailers. There were also no serious injuries.

“The wind is the factor today and it’s blowing what little snow we do have around and it’s complete whiteout,” said OPP Sgt. Jason Folz. 

Environment Canada has issued a snow squall warning for the area around Barrie, but is expected to weaken overnight.

“Snow squalls combining with strong northwest winds gusting to 70 km/h continue to produce dangerous whiteout conditions in many areas,” the agency warned. “Snow squalls with local very low visibility in blowing snow are expected to slowly weaken into flurries tonight.”

With files from The Canadian Press