Charges have been laid against a truck driver accused of mowing down three parked police cruisers along a stretch of Highway 401 in Ontario known as "carnage alley."

Three police officers and three motorists, including the truck driver, were injured in the accident on Wednesday.

On Thursday, 26-year-old Terry David DeMerchant of Quebec was charged with five counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, five counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, and another count of careless driving.

The officers had pulled over someone suspected of being involved in an armed robbery. They were standing beside the cars when a transport truck plowed into the vehicles from behind.

DeMerchant has been released from hospital and is now being held in custody until a bail hearing, police said.

Rescuers had to use the jaws of life to pull one officer from the mangled wreckage. One officer remained in critical condition Thursday night.

Police later determined that the suspect they had pulled over on the 401 had no ties to an armed robbery.

The section of the highway where the accident occured was closed for almost 24 hours, as investigators collected evidence.

Wednesday's crash occurred just hours after an inquest began into one of the country's worst traffic accidents along the same road.

Eight people were killed when about 85 cars and trailer trucks slammed into each other last September on a stretch of Highway 401 just east of Windsor. Forty-five people were also injured.

Heavy traffic and fog led to a horrific chain reaction that Labour Day weekend. Six of the people who died were trapped in a fire at the centre of the pileup.

The intense fire and heat kept rescuers back. They could do little but watch and listen to the screams of victims trapped in their burning cars.

A coroner's jury is expected to take a month to hear about September's accident, including factors such as speed, traffic volume and driver behaviour in the section of highway known locally as "carnage alley."

The inquest will try to look at what makes that stretch of highway so dangerous and what can be done to prevent similar accidents.

The 401 is a major route for trucks transporting goods to and from the U.S. It begins at the Canada-U.S. border at Windsor and Detroit, then leads to London, Ont. and beyond.

There have been more accidents along the corridor between Windsor and London that on almost any other highway in Canada, according to police.