50-vehicle crash closes stretch of Highway 401 near Woodstock
A pileup involving about 50 vehicles closed Highway 401 eastbound at Foldens Line between Ingersoll and Woodstock on Friday morning.
There are reports of minor injuries as a result of the crash, and that dozens of vehicles, including a number of tractor-trailers, were involved.
Snow squalls in the area are believed to have caused whiteouts and poor road conditions, contributing to the chain-reaction crash.
Justine, a Guelph resident, narrowly avoided being part of the pileup.
“I don’t know how I somehow weaseled out of it but I got really lucky…It went from sunny and just whited out so I slowed down. I looked to my right and see the truck and see the truck just nail another truck.”
The crash sent a number of vehicles into the ditch and backed up traffic for at least 10 kilometres. The highway was at a standstill for most of the day.
Oxford County OPP kept the highway closed for hours for an investigation and to clear damaged vehicles and debris.
OPP Const. Lisa Narancsik says police had emergency detour routes in place to keep vehicles moving around the crash scene.
Once all vehicles have been towed the area also needs to be plowed.
Flying tire, snow cause additional closures
Meanwhile in Essex County, OPP closed the eastbound lanes of the highway around 10:45 a.m. after a tractor-trailer lost a wheel, which hit a car. Both drivers reportedly suffered minor injuries.
All lanes from Comber Sideroad to the eastbound service centre were reopened around 1 p.m. after the debris was removed from the road but the investigation continues.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Friday an eight-vehicle pileup near Cambridge also closed the westbound lanes of Highway 401 for several hours.
Further north, Huron County OPP closed Harriston Road (County #87) from Harriston to Bluevale due to poor weather conditions.
OPP are reminding drivers to slow down, keep their distance and check weather reports before heading out by calling 511 or visiting the Ministry of Tranportation website for road conditions.
With files from The Canadian Press.