One person seriously injured in multi-vehicle collision on Highway 401 near Brighton
One person suffered serious injuries following a chain-reaction collision on Highway 401 just east of Brighton on Wednesday morning.
Around 9:40 a.m., Northumberland OPP responded to reports of a jack-knifed tractor-trailer in the westbound lanes between County Road 40 and County Road 30, approximately 40 kilometres east of Cobourg. That collision triggered a number of other collisions as vehicles rear-ended each other while trying to avoid impact.
The collisions blocked both westbound and eastbound lanes of the highway, prompting police to close the section of highway.
Scott Mountney, an off-duty Toronto firefighter, saw the initial collision and braked. And that’s when his pickup truck was rear-ended by the trailer of another transport truck which swerved to stop.
“Had he been straight on he would have run us over,” said Mountney.
“I’m a little sore – lower back. I was bracing for impact and trying to pick a lane. But I couldn’t move, I just started spinning. I tried to avoid hitting the lady in front of me.”
WATCH: Highway 401 collisions near Brighton
Police say four other vehicles were involved in the collision with one person being transported to hospital with serious injuries after a van rear-ended a tractor-trailer.
Brighton Fire Chief Rick Caddick said it was the most serious of all collisions.
Caddick couldn’t estimate how many collisions were on the stretch of highway but many were minor in nature.
There are unconfirmed reports an OPP prisoner transport vehicle was among the vehicles involved in the collisions.
“I believe this to be a weather-related crash,” said OPP Sgt. Jason Folz.
Around noon the eastbound lanes reopened. Around 12:45 p.m., OPP stated Highway 401 westbound would remain closed for several hours for their investigation and removal of vehicles.
An Emergency Detour Route (EDR) has been setup at County Road 40 mile marker 552 in Quinte West north to County Road 41. Traffic will be re-directed back onto the highway at County Road 30 mile marker 509 in Brighton.
OPP are urging motorists to stay off the highway, if possible, due to deteriorating road conditions and whiteouts.
UPDATE 6 p.m.
OPP have re-opened the westbound lanes.
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