Trans-Canada Highway reopens in N.B. after major accident

A major traffic accident involving four transport trucks and two passenger vehicles in the midst of a winter storm that shut down a section of the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick has been cleared.

6-vehicle crash closed 38 km of eastbound lanes near Florenceville-Bristol, sending 1 to hospital

40 cm of snow expected in some areas by time storm passes through later Thursday 4:49

A major traffic accident involving four transport trucks and two passenger vehicles in the midst of a winter storm that shut down a section of the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick has been cleared.

The highway reopened around 9 p.m. Thursday evening.

A 38-kilometre stretch of the eastbound lanes of the highway was closedfor hours due to the accident near Florenceville-Bristol.

One person was transported to hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries, said RCMP Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh.

That section of the highway is maintained by Brun-Way Highway Operations Inc. under an agreement with the provincial government. Spokesperson Felicia Murphy said driving conditions were poor and advised drivers to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

At least one person was taken to hospital with serious injuries following a multi-vehicle accident on the Trans-Canada Highway near Florenceville on Thursday. (CBC)
"One of the trucks was carrying some fuel … which is why we have the detour so they can clean up that spill," she said.

The fuel has been identified as Bunker C, a type of heating oil.

Environment officials were contacted to clean up to mess.

Remaining oil in the truck also had to be pumped to another truck, police said.

As much as 40 centimetres of snow and blowing snow accumulated in central and northern New Brunswick. Ice pellets and freezing rain are thrown into the mix in southern New Brunswick.

“It's awful, we’ve had enough. It's time for the sun to come out,” said Verna LeBlan,c who was shovelling out in Moncton.

While some people were tired of digging out, others embraced the winter weather.

“This winter is really a Canadian winter. You know, lots of snow and it's cold and you know hallelujah,” said Dillon Robicheau.

Thursday night and Friday morning, blowing snow is going to be the biggest concern, according to CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell.

By early Thursday morning, more than 20 centimetres of snow had already fallen in some places, resulting in the closure of all public schools in New Brunswick and many businesses.

An accident on the Trans-Canada Highway has closed a 38-kilometre stretch of the eastbound lanes. (Étienne Dumont/Radio-Canada)
​Bathurst, which received more than 32 centimetres of snow, is also facing more snow and blowing snow, said Mitchell.

Moncton saw a mix of 26 centimetres of snow and ice pellets, as well as blowing snow, while Saint John had only one centimetre of snow, but 22 millimetres of rain and freezing rain.

As the system moves through the Maritimes, it will be taking its mix of snow, freezing rain and ice pellets to Newfoundland and Labrador, CBC meteorologist Peter Coade said.

"The wind is going to be staying strong, blowing around the snow that we have, creating near blizzard-like conditions," Coade said.

The snow tapered off Thursday night and temperatures are expected to drop.

A person walks through a blizzard in Bathurst on Thursday. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

Nova Scotia saw mainly rain overnight, with some localized flooding in Dartmouth. More than 2,000 Nova Scotia Power customers were in the dark.

In Charlottetown, 10 centimetres of snow fell, followed by about 12 millimetres of freezing rain. Snow and drifting snow continued into the afternoon.

Road conditions in New Brunswick are poor.

Those responsible for maintaining the Trans-Canada Highway through the province were urging people to stay off the highway or limit travel if at all possible.

"If you have to go on it, drive with caution," said Ross Mathers, of Maritime Road Development Corporation, which operates the highway from Moncton to just west of Fredericton.

Maritimers are not out of the woods yet, with more snow forecast for early next week.


  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated the fuel spilled was crude oil, based on information provided by Brun-Way.
    Mar 13, 2014 4:00 PM AT


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