March 11, 2019 12:20 pm
Updated: March 11, 2019 3:16 pm

Driver charged after tractor-trailer tar spill on Hwy. 401 near Brighton, Ont.

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Traffic was backed up and emergency detours were in place for nearly a day after a tractor-trailer carrying hot tar flipped over on Highway 401 near Brighton, Ont., over the weekend.

According to OPP, the tractor-trailer was travelling east Sunday morning just before 10:30 a.m., when freezing rain began, creating slick road conditions.

READ MORE: OPP responded to 35 collisions on Highway 401 Tuesday

Police say the driver of the tractor-trailer was driving faster than she should have been for the weather conditions. The tractor-trailer hit the concrete median that splits the eastbound and westbound lanes.

“Sudden weather conditions can occur and we need to adjust our driving habit accordingly,” said Const. Kimberly Johnston with the Northumberland detachment of the OPP.

Because of the speed and the force of the impact, police say the trailer flipped over from the east side of the highway into the westbound lanes, spilling a significant amount of hot tar on the highway.

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Environmental crews were on scene on Sunday and into Monday morning to clean up the mess.

“They built kind of like a dam to prevent the tar from falling too far down the highway and once it cooled, they were able to scoop it up,” said Johnston.

WATCH: One person seriously injured after multi-vehicle collision near Brighton, Ont.

The eastbound lanes of the highway opened up a few hours after the collision, but the westbound lanes remained closed for almost 23 hours for the cleanup.

No other vehicles were involved in the collision and no one was injured.

The driver of the vehicle has been charged with careless driving.

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