Ottawa

Prescott mayor urges province to focus on Highway 401 safety

Prescott Mayor Brett Todd is once again calling on the provincial government to expand a section of Highway 401 in eastern Ontario that seems to be prone to collisions.

'We've clearly got a significant issue with the 401,' says Brett Todd

Fatal crash on Highway 401 near Prescott

5 years ago
Duration 0:34
Fatal crash on Highway 401 near Prescott

The mayor of Prescott, Ont. is once again calling on the provincial government to expand a section of Highway 401 in eastern Ontario that seems to be prone to collisions. 

On Thursday afternoon, a driver was killed when two transport trucks and a tanker collided on the 401 near Prescott. The highway was closed in both directions for hours.

"It's very disappointing this continues to happen," Prescott Mayor Brett Todd said in an interview with the CBC. "We've clearly got a significant issue with the 401 in parts of eastern Ontario. It certainly seems like we've got a troubled spot right here at Prescott." 

One incident that stands out in Todd's memory is the massive car pileup on Highway 401 near Mallorytown, Ont., which killed one driver and sent 29 others to hospital due to a toxic spill, in March 2017. 

"Now that we're right in the construction season ... we've already seen two significant accidents in the span of 24 hours that have closed the roads down again and resulted in serious injury and loss of life and it's very disappointing to see that."

Yesterday's collision on the 401 occurred between Maitland and Prescott.

Todd has been pushing for lane expansion on that stretch of the highway for some time, but the big pileup last year brought the issue to the forefront for him. 

"Unfortunately, we had a number of accidents since then, which only strengthened our desire to see this happen. Sadly enough, though, we haven't had much response from the province on this."

A third lane would relieve pressure on the road and let drivers pass each other, Todd said. 

"It takes ... just a small mistake. It just takes one person to make one error there when the traffic narrows down like that and we get what happened yesterday," he added. 

Todd said he's hoping to see renewed focus on the issue when a government is formed after the June provincial election.

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