Gardiner re-opens after toppled sign removed

A crash on the Gardiner Expressway caused a large highway sign to tumble onto the roadway and block all westbound lanes at Royal York Road Friday morning.

Highway blocked for morning commute; firefighters drive honeymooners to airport

One car crash blocks all westbound lanes, SUV driver tried to flee 4:40

A crash on the Gardiner Expressway caused a large highway sign to tumble onto the roadway and block all westbound lanes near Royal York Road during Friday's morning commute.

The incident happened just after 5 a.m. and closed all westbound lanes of the Gardiner just west of Royal York for five hours. Crews removed the final piece of the toppled sign just after 10 a.m.

The trouble began when a Cadillac Escalade travelling westbound mounted the curb, hit the sign then veered into the ditch. The accident caused the massive sign, which spans the entire highway, to topple to the pavement below.

Police say the 36-year-old driver of the Escalade may have tried to flee the scene. He hopped a fence and was arrested by police nearby on Oxford Street. He had minor injuries.

Firefighters rush honeymooners to airport

A Toyota driven by a honeymooning couple on their way to the airport struck — and almost had their car crushed by — the massive sign. They were not hurt but the crash would have made them late for their 8:20 a.m. flight back to Italy.

The couple left their damaged rental car on the Gardiner and were rushed to the airport in a Toronto Fire Services truck.

Meanwhile, the accident created a traffic nightmare during the entire morning commute.

CBC's Trevor Dunn was at the scene at 6:30 a.m. Friday and reported that the downed sign was causing a traffic nightmare in both directions of the Gardiner. 

“There is a big backup on the westbound Gardiner right now and the eastbound Gardiner is backed up because it’s quite a spectacle here and everyone is slowing down to take a look," he reported.

With files from CBC's Tony Smyth, Trevor Dunn

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