One person is dead following a series of collisions involving at least 15 vehicles, including several transport trucks, that forced the closure of all westbound lanes of Highway 20 east of St-Hyacinthe.

The first accident happened at 9:30 a.m. ET, close to exit 152 near  Sainte-Hélène-de-Bagot, forcing Quebec provincial police to set up a detour at that exit.

The highway's westbound lanes were reopened at around 1:30 p.m. ET.

3 waves of accidents

Transport Québec officials said that 15 to 20 vehicles and three to four tractor trailers were involved in at least three waves of accidents.

According to police, the first occurred  when a woman driving an SUV lost control and struck a transport truck. She was transported to hospital to be treated for serious injuries.

Soon afterwards, a car with two people on board collided with two transport trucks. The extent of their injuries is not known.

Multiple vehicles then collided, leading police to shut down a two-kilometre stretch of the highway.

Many mishaps on snow-covered roads

Highways and major arteries around the Montreal region are slippery after a snowfall that began overnight.

Earlier this morning in Montreal, a truck went off the road on the Highway 13 south ramp from Laval to access Highway 40 west, blocking the road.

No one was injured.