Tractor-trailer driver dead after fiery crash on Highway 401
Eastbound lanes reopened, westbound lanes still closed from Thousand Islands Parkway to Reynolds Road, OPP say
The driver of a tractor-trailer is dead and Highway 401 remains closed westbound near Gananoque, Ont., after the semi slammed into a stationary truck and caught fire, police say.
The fiery collision happened at about 5:30 a.m. ET Wednesday when the westbound tractor-trailer struck a parked safety truck about three kilometres west of Reynolds Road, according to Ontario Provincial Police.
The truck was sitting in the closed right lane of the highway at the time of the crash. Its arrow lights were flashing, and the vehicle was unoccupied, according to OPP Const. Sandra Barr.
The tractor-trailer then caught fire, requiring several fire departments to respond, police said.
The collision closed both eastbound and westbound lanes on the busy highway early Wednesday morning, though the eastbound lanes opened shortly after noon.
The westbound lanes are expected to remain closed until late into the evening with traffic detours remaining in place.
'Heavy rain' was falling
The cause of the crash is so far unknown but weather may have played a role.
"It could be a number of things. I'm told that there was weather at that point, so we have our technical traffic collision investigators that will attend the scene along with OPP reconstructionists," Barr said.
"From what I understand, at that point there was rain — a heavy rain, in fact, at that particular time."
Motorists are asked to avoid the area.
Avoid the 401 near Gananoque, closed in both directions after serious crash, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ygk?src=hash">#ygk</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YGKTraffic?src=hash">#YGKTraffic</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/963bigfm?src=hash">#963bigfm</a> <a href="https://t.co/ULktikRChu">pic.twitter.com/ULktikRChu</a>—@Safety_Guys
Vehicles lined up along Hwy. 401 east of Reynolds Road due to closure after fiery crash near Gananoque. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottnews?src=hash">#ottnews</a> <a href="https://t.co/Wp21kYwuJi">pic.twitter.com/Wp21kYwuJi</a>—@CBCOttawa
<a href="https://twitter.com/YGKTraffic">@YGKTraffic</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/LandGTraffic">@LandGTraffic</a> 401 west at gan from hwy 2. Doesn't look like this will clean up quick.... <a href="https://t.co/haI38yFgvv">pic.twitter.com/haI38yFgvv</a>—@bluenoser85