Transport truck crossed cable barrier in Hwy. 401 crash, three drivers taken to hospital

Chatham-Kent police have confirmed a tractor trailer went through the cable barriers on Hwy. 401 Tuesday morning.

Westbound lanes on Hwy. 401 near Merlin Road have reopened 12 hours after a collision

The collision took place shortly after 7 a.m. (Walter Cunial)

Chatham-Kent police have confirmed a tractor trailer went through the cable barriers on Hwy. 401 Tuesday morning. 

Ontario Provincial Police have closed westbound Highway 401 near Merlin Road in Chatham-Kent. The highway has since been reopened, almost 12 hours later.

An eastbound tractor trailer crossed over the median and crashed head-on with two westbound trucks shortly after 7 a.m.

All three drivers were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

"MTO is on scene here, the actual cables themselves are still intact," said Const. Jay Denorer with Chatham-Kent OPP. "They're not rated for commercial motor vehicles."

All westbound lanes are blocked on Hwy. 401 near Merlin Road. (Matt Lajoie/Twitter)

Police said road conditions at the time were dry and clear.

"It's cloudy out, but we're not sure what contributed," said Denorer.

The collision caused backups and vehicles were detoured off the highway at Bloomfield Road.

"Once we shut the highway down and start diverting drivers off the road, a lot of drivers end up getting impatient," said Denorer.

"We actually had somebody who went through the centre median and ended up getting their pick up truck stuck in the centre median, so we had to call a tow truck."

Officers were on site at the closure dealing with the initial scene, as well as at the off-ramps to ensure people were leaving the highway when they were supposed to. 

When police get complaints about drivers attempting U-turns, Denorer says they get "strapped."

"You're now tying up that officer when they could be responding to other calls," said Denorer, adding that they were about to open the road this morning when people got impatient and caused more backlogs.

Police expected the highway to be closed until about 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. However, it was not reopened until just before 7 p.m.