2 dead after crash, large tanker fire on Highway 407 in Vaughan

WATCH ABOVE: OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt updates the fiery crash of a tanker truck and a vehicle along Highway 407 on Wednesday.

York Region Paramedic Services and Ontario Provincial Police say two people have died after a two-vehicle crash and large tanker fire on Highway 407 in Vaughan.

Emergency crews were called to the eastbound side of the highway near Dufferin Street just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday after a westbound fuel tanker truck went over the median and into the eastbound lanes, colliding with the other vehicle.

“The fuel tanker truck burst into flames upon collision with another passenger vehicle. Both vehicles came to rest on the eastbound side of the 407,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told reporters late Wednesday evening.

“As a result of the crash, there was a massive fire and explosion that consumed both vehicles. There is damage to the road surface (and) the concrete wall.”

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WATCH: Dash camera footage caught the explosion as a tanker truck flipped over the median and burst into flames on Highway 407 Wednesday. 
Dash cam video captures fireball erupt after fatal tanker crash on Highway 407
Dash cam video captures fireball erupt after fatal tanker crash on Highway 407

Schmidt said the driver of the truck, a 41-year-old Brampton man, and the driver of a passenger vehicle, a 49-year-old man from Mississauga, died at the scene. The men haven’t been identified.

Dash cam video posted on YouTube by Robert Kostiuk appears to have caught the moment the crash happened. A truck can be seen in the distance swerving left before a fireball erupts.

Shortly after the crash, pictures and video shared online showed intense orange flames and a large plume of black smoke rising from the scene.

Schmidt said engineers were called to assess the structure of the bridge where the crash happened. He said while the bridge is structurally sound, road repaving and concrete barrier repairs are needed before the highway can reopen.

OPP said both the eastbound and westbound lanes were reopened at 6 a.m. Thursday.

Schmidt, who filmed the intense fire shortly after it happened, said he saw the smoke plume from the east side of Brampton. Given the time of day, he said this crash could have been much worse than it already was.

“It is a miracle that there’s no other injuries or fatalities. This could have been far more significant based on the fireball that we saw exploding,” Schmidt said.

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“It is still tragic to know that two people have lost their lives in this collision, but certainly with what we saw as we arrived, we weren’t sure what to expect and it could have been a lot worse.”

Meanwhile, police asked any witnesses or anyone with dash cam video to call the Highway 407 OPP detachment at 905-731-8180 or 1-888-310-1122.